Rather than the saccharine sweet images that you might expect for Valentine’s Day, why not take a bolder, more anarchic approach to Love?
An irreverent post-punk sensibility and the playfully ironic approach of Pop Art are the essential tools to this postmodern guide to love. Rejecting the iconic Pop Art ‘Love’ image by Robert Indiana, Gavin Turk simply re-appropriated it with his ‘Turk Love’ silk-screen, to become a meditation on self-love and the concept of the ‘celebrity’ artist. Even Godfather of British Pop Art, Sir Peter Blake, was inspired by the Clash’s ‘Rock the Casbah’ to create his ‘Lover’s Rock’ silkscreen. Inspired by the London spirit of rebellion (and his studies at Central St Martins) Vezzoli created a unique edition for yoox.com in 2012, ‘Con Amore’ exploring the nature of celebrity, portraiture and kitsch against the universal values of truth and beauty in art.
With a slightly more sardonic approach, writer and artist Harland Miller created ‘Love Conquers Nothing’ taking the much-loved Penguin classics as a starting point, expanding the book covers to include his own richly melancholic phrases. Romantic novels, flowers and tropical sunrises, are the starting point for Marc Quinn, whose flower prints use vividly coloured orchids to attract and repel.
Reflecting on the duality of love, ‘Love is a Bird, Love is a Burden’ by Sarah Lucas and Olivier Garbay, is a possible symbol of their relationship at the time, with the entwined arms as a metaphor for the unification and struggle often experienced in love. Offering a multitude of different approaches to Love, from Peter Blake’s whimsical Doris Day and Paris silkscreens, through to the tears and heartbreak of Vezzoli, fall in love again with our Valentine Selection.