Sunday, June 29, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight is an American artist associated with the pop art movement. He is best known as the creator of the LOVE series of paintings and sculptures, is an openly gay American artist who has incorporated autobiographical and gay themes within his work. Today's Out Spotlight is Robert Indiana.

Robert Indiana, also known as Robert Clark was born on September 13, 1928 in New Castle, Indiana. He was adopted as an infant by oil company manager Earl Clark and homemaker Carmen Watters. He was their only child.

He spent the first 17 years of his life living in Indiana moving frequently between cities and eventually lived in 21 different homes. After his parents divorced, he relocated to Indianapolis to live with his father so he could attend Arsenal Technical High School (1942–46). After high school he attended Syracuse University to study Russian.

Clark went on to serve for three years in the United States Army Air Forces. Completing his tour of duty, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1949–53) on the GI Bill. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (summer 1953) after he received his degree of a Bachelor of Fine Arts, from the Art Institute. Clark won a scholarship to Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art (1953–54) where he received a Master's of Fine Arts. He returned to America in 1954 and settled in New York City. There he began making art with his distinctive "hard edge" style.

In New York rented a loft in an old warehouse on Coenties Slip, a since-demolished industrial area at the southernmost tip of Manhattan that became an artistic center because of its cheap rents. There he became part of a group of young artists including Agnes Martin, Lenore Tawney, Jack Youngerman, and Ellsworth Kelly. For a time, he and Kelly were lovers.

Clark changed his surname to Indiana in 1958 to reflect better the American focus of his work. He first attracted notice in 1959 with unpainted assemblages, stenciled with short words and constructed from scavenged wood, pieces of iron, and wheels.

Indiana is part of the pop art movement, though he deprecatingly refers to himself as a "sign painter." Like other pop artists he invests commonplace objects and familiar images with new meaning. However, his works occasionally deviate from the pop art norm by evincing intense personal and political engagement. They express concern over social issues and make pointed political statements. His painting Yield Brother (1962), for example, focuses on the peace movement while his Confederacy series (1965-66), created during the Civil Rights movement, attacks racism in four southern states.

In addition, Indiana tends to be more autobiographical than other pop artists. For example, his EAT/DIE (1962) diptych focuses on the last word, "eat," spoken to him by his mother on her deathbed. The painting also evokes the diner his mother managed, which had the familiar "EAT" sign looming overhead. Indiana also collaborated with gay pop artist Andy Warhol on the 1962 short film Eat.

Indiana has also been influenced by the great American queer writers Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Hart Crane. His Melville Tryptich (1961) is considered one of his classic images, and several paintings have been inspired by Crane's poem of longing and gay affiliation, "The Bridge."

In 1964, he received a commission from the Museum of Modern Art for a Christmas card design. He created a picture that emphasized the words Love is God (1964). Typical of pop artists, Indiana serialized the image. In 1966, he exhibited a series of "love" paintings, including a definitive version featuring four red block letters completely filling the canvas against a blue and green background. Each letter fills a quarter of the picture, the L and a tilted O in the top quadrants, the V and E in the bottom quadrants. A few examples of the rare image, in bold blue and green with a red bottom announcing "Stable May 66" are known to exist. Twenty-five of these, without the red announcement, were signed and dated on the reverse by Indiana.

The LOVE image had an immediate impact, especially among the youth culture of the 1960s. As a painting, graphic design, and a sculpture, it has become one of the most pervasive and widely disseminated images of all time.

In 1973, the U.S. Postal Service commissioned Indiana to do a LOVE postage stamp. The resulting product became the most popular stamp ever issued by the U.S. government.

Sculptural versions of the image have been installed at numerous American and international locations. Sculptures of the image can be found at many places, including, The Original "Love" sculpture located in Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana;

 Sixth Avenue in New York City; Pratt Institute campus in Brooklyn, New York; John F. Kennedy Plaza in Philadelphia; Middlebury College campus, Vermont; University of Pennsylvania campus, Philadelphia; Pool area of the Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas; Wichita State University campus in Wichita, Kansas; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; 96th Street Bay Harbor Islands, Florida and the Art Trail outside the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas

In 1977 he created a Hebrew version with the four letter word Ahava (אהבה "love" in Hebrew) using Cor-ten steel, for the Israel Museum Art Garden in Jerusalem, Israel. I

ndiana created sculptures showing "amor" is displayed at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington DC and a sculpture for love is displayed outside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on Piazza della Scala in Milan, Italy.

Internationally his "Love" sculpture can be see in Montreal and Vancouver Canada; Bilbao, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; London as well as
Chatsworth, Derbyshire, UK; The Republic of Georgia, Armenia; Switzerland; The Netherlands; Tokyo; Singapore; Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Jakarta; South Korea; and the Love Park in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

In 1995, Indiana created a "Heliotherapy Love" series of 300 silk screen prints signed and numbered by the artist, which surrounds the iconic love image in a bright yellow border. These prints are the largest official printed version of the Love image.

For Valentine's Day 2011, Indiana created a similar variation on LOVE for Google, which was displayed in place of the search engine site's normal logo.

In 1978, Indiana moved to Vinalhaven, Maine. Working with Vinalhaven Press, he has used the traditional printmaking media of etching and lithography to depict the solitude and isolation of his life in rural Maine.

In 2013, the Whitney Museum of American Art mounted a retrospective of his work entitled "Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE"

Indiana's more recent works include biographical elements of gay lives, including his own.

Indiana continues create and accept commissions.

We know Austin's a fan.


Seaweed said...

A truly engaging story of Love and longevity. Thank you once again Special !

AUS10 said...

France France France !!!

Long gone TT Watcher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
know your trolls said...

No one on OMG has said that Jake and Austin had six kids. Some have said one, two, even five before but not six. The troll came up with six and throws it out there and makes look like OMG started it. And thing about Jake and Austin being over, another story the trolls say over and over too. Why are they still hanging all over OMG if Jake and Austin are over? Do they think if they say it over and over that makes it true? They can't wait to jump in and say that every chance they can. And why is it that they always say OMG'ers don't know anything about men? It's the same shit over and over.

We Are Family said...

I'm going to comment because I agree completely. If Jake and Austin are no more, why are trolls still hanging around, spamming this blog night and day? I actually am grateful (in a twisted sort of way) for Management/PR tactics. They give themselves away. Every. single.time. If Jake and Austin were over, they would be concentrating on other closeted celebrities. Instead, they are obsessing over this blog. Thanks WME for letting me know that these two are going strong as ever.

Oh, by the way. They've got kids too. I have no doubt of that. Closeted actors don't stay together for over 10 years without something meaningful that bonds. I'm guessing that's not Jake's fashion sense. So my next guess is a sharing a family together.

Special K said...

I agree. Why would trolls come to OMG if there was nothing going on. And lately they have become more persistent. If Jake and Austin are over, why are they trying to sell Austin and FauxClo so hard?

And Know Your Trolls is right, the whole thing about six kids was the troll's thing, not OMG. And they are the ones that throws six kids up in their troll tantrums.

the real m said...

Not sure how I got so behind in reading comments, but at least I missed whatever the troll had to say as the comments are now gone. Thanks Special for keeping the garden weeded.

I thought Maggie's comments were ill advised. She spoke what she thinks and feels but has led a sheltered and privileged life. But I found her comments re feeling like an outsider in LA most interesting. Jake seems like he belongs in LA more than NYC, the opposite of Maggie. But even he looked uncomfortable at the last few awards shows he attended in Ca.

Austin and Jake are following the usual routine of one staying home with the kids while the other works. They may not want to come out to spare the kids, at least until they are older.

Hotter than blazes here today. 106. Hoping for lower temps tomorrow.

Florida Tom said...

Hot in Florida too m. Damn humidity is a killer. I have never sweat so much.

Just read on AOl an article about purple marriages which are couples getting married to hid the Gay. They talk about how HW being a place where actors and actresses cannot come out. Couples mentioned were Tom Cruise and his ex. Ryan Reynolds and Scarlet and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. They brought up also James Dean and Katherine Hepburn.