While thrifting with my husband this weekend, I stumbled across a fab throw pillow with a $2 price tag on it…which ended up being 50% off – so we paid one single dollar for it. I was immediately drawn to the graphic, but really didn’t think much about it at the time. I merely tossed it into my bag with all the other gems we tend to find at our favorite “Out of the Closet” branch in the city.
Always drawn to any sort of “Love” graphic, I thought it would be a welcome addition to the textured textiles already adorning our living room couch. There are actually a lot of subtle “Love” items all over the house (…that’ll be a good post for another day…) as a gentle reminder to anyone who enters our dwelling that “Love Lives Here”.
Few Pop images are more widely recognized than Robert Indiana’s LOVE, circa 1965 which was originally designed as a Christmas card commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art and subsequently appeared in prints, paintings, sculptures, banners, rings, tapestries, and even postage stamps. The postage stamps earned more than $25 million for the U.S. Postal Service, but the work barely made Indiana any money at all. As a result, he actually was deemed a sellout and while LOVE is both accessible in complex and meaning, Indiana’s intentions, unfortunately, were lost on critics and fans alike.
Indiana was at the forefront of the Pop art movement alongside Andy Warhol. The two exhibited work together at the same gallery. Warhol, who coined the phrase “Everybody will be famous for 15 minutes,” was far more interested in media attention than Indiana. Andy Warhol, who essentially became his own brand, certainly had his 15 minutes of fame. In fact, his 15 minutes has lasted over 25 years.
While it’s easy to think Warhol was behind the iconic LOVE, this is actually Warhol’s homage to love…
But enough on the art history and enter the man behind our “Love” pillow – Alexander Girard. He was an architect and textile designer and one of the leading figures in American design during the postwar era and had a profound impact on mid-20th-century design. Girard was the founding director of Herman Miller’s textile division in 1952. His work was greatly influenced by folk art and his designs became well-known for their geometric forms.
Our $1.00 pillow originally conceived by Girard 1961 is still produced today and retails for about $130.00.
“Infinite are man’s expressions of beauty and love; open your eyes your ears and your heart to them and you will unite the peoples of the world.”