Robert Indiana…American Artist

“Some people like to paint trees. I like to paint love. I find it more meaningful than painting trees.”-Robert Indiana

Happy 85th Birthday to Robert Indiana, well-known for his iconic “LOVE” sculpture, but so much more than that!  Robert Indiana hung around with painters such as Ellsworth Kelly and was painting the same time as Andy Warhol but didn’t consider himself a “Pop” artist. I bet Warhol didn’t label himself that either.

“Born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, in 1928, he adopted the name of his native state as a pseudonymous surname early in his career. During his typically Midwestern boyhood, highway signs had a symbolic importance for him. His father worked for Phillips 66 gas and, when he left his wife and son, he did so down Route #66. And the diner which his mother subsequently operated had the familiar “EAT” sign looming overhead. Indiana studied first at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and then at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica, New York. From there he went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received a degree in 1953 and won a traveling fellowship to Europe. In 1954, he attended Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland.”

I was very surprised and disheartened to learn that Robert Indiana did not make any money off of the thousands of “LOVE” knockoffs because it wasn’t copyrighted!!!!!!  He also was considered very commercial, which hurt his street creds. Indiana left NYC to live on an island off of Maine over 35 years ago and never stopped creating. On September 26th, The Whitney Museum in NYC will have a retrospective of Indiana’s work, titled “Beyond Love” and it will run through January, 2014.


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