Robert Indiana's Love Sculpture in New York: Is It an Effective Work of Art?

Published: 2022-02-17
Robert Indiana's Love Sculpture in New York: Is It an Effective Work of Art?
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Sculpture
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 681 words
6 min read

LOVE sculpture is an iconic public artwork associated with Robert Indiana. The LOVE public artwork under focus is located in New York, though there are several sculptures of the same kind in many parts of the United States and a number of major cities around the world. Public art is art that is stationed in public places. This type of art is often placed or exhibited in areas that are accessible freely to all members of the public at any given time. Public artworks include memorials, historical monuments, human experience installations, contemporary installations and performance events, among others (Becker 1-2; Wilde manner in which the LOVE's sculptural letters are stacked to each other not only projects the artist's conceptualization of love but also emphasizes Manhattan's position as a tourist destination.

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LOVE is a twelve-foot by twelve-foot by a six-foot structure that contains two pairs of letters, the L and the V on the one hand and the E and the O on the other. E stands tall and crowds around an italicized O, creating an iconic figure. The dense red color (often associated with love), gigantic size of the letters, and the entire structure create a beautiful scenery which can make many people stop, observe and respond to its moving architectural design. Its architecture and location allow convenient taking of photos beside the sculpture or inside the hollow parts of the artwork created by the intertwining gigantic letters that make up LOVE. Whether it is individuals who regularly pass by this sculpture or persons visiting the site for the first time, the sight of the intertwined iconic letters that make up LOVE can evoke every sort of emotions. As such, public art has the potential to provoke changes in both the mental and the physical environments.

Indiana's' public artwork is a monumental public piece of art located on the intersection corner between 6th Avenue and 55th Street, Manhattan New York(Wilde Perhaps the choice of the location of LOVE was made to create a welcoming atmosphere for people visiting the area as tourists or cultural enthusiasts since the area is well-known for its cultural exhibitions. The artwork is located on the street with fairly grey buildings and dark pavements which accentuate the presence of the dense red-colored sculpture. In other words, the color of the buildings, streets, and the walkways appear to emphasize the presence of the sculpture. Besides, the location seems isolated. Such station protects the sculpture from being blurred by adjacent buildings thereby ensuring that there is an uninterrupted view of the sculpture from all the four directions of the mentioned streets. Furthermore, its presence in an area where two roads within a town meet was perhaps meant to ensure that as many members of the public as possible have the view of the artwork. In a sense, this was meant to emphasize that the sculpture is a public artwork. A different location would not meet the expectations of a public artwork because of absence of human traffic. Inferentially, many people may view the structure because they accidentally pump into it in the street. Such encounters enhance the theme of love emphasized by the sculpture.

Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture in Manhattan is an iconic monument that always emits love. The dense red color of the sculpture and the ingenuity with which the four letters that make the word love are intertwined with each other evoke a great feeling of love and oneness respectively. The location of the sculpture vis-a-vis the surrounding buildings help to accentuate the theme of the sculpture. Moreover, its open place enhances visibility thereby ensuring that the universal love message reaches as many people as possible. As a consequence of the highlighted attributes, Indiana creates a unique identity for Manhattan.

Works Cited

Becker, Jack. "Public Art: An Essential Component of Creating Communities." Americans for the Arts, 2004,

Wilde, Megan. "How LOVE Nearly Ruined Robert Indiana's Career." Mental Floss, 23 July 2010,

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Robert Indiana's Love Sculpture in New York: Is It an Effective Work of Art?. (2022, Feb 17). Retrieved from

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