In 1977, Robert Indiana, the artist of the famed LOVE sculpture, designed a Pop art basketball court for the Milwaukee Bucks, but not everyone was a fan of his work. According to Co.Create, some balked at the $27,500 it cost for Indiana to paint the colorful floor. Also, former Bucks coach Don Nelso said at the time, “At first, I thought we had to wear sunglasses because it was so bright.”
Overtime, the floor was abandoned as the Bucks traded up for a newer model. Now Milwaukee local Andy Gorzalski has spearheaded a plan to turn Indiana’s court into a work of art. Gorzalski spotted the sports relic listed as “gym floor” on an architectural reclamation website. Although he did not have the $20,000 necessary to buy the floor, he enlisted Gregory Koller, the owner of a flooring company in Milwaukee, to shell out the cash.
Koller died soon after the purchase, but his son Ben has joined forces with Gorzalski and Indiana to display the floor as a work of art at the U.S. Cellular Arena. Visitors can come see what is now the largest work of pop art for $10.
After years of being overshadowed by his Pop art favorites like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Claes Oldenburg, Robert Indiana is finally getting his year in the sun. The Whitney Museum will give the artist his first retrospective in September, and Indiana’s work is set to appear on license plates in Maine (see below).
Robert Indiana‘s LOVE typography has appeared all over the world, in sculptures, prints, paintings, and on souvenirs. Now his iconic work is coming to the streets of Maine.
The Maine Arts Commission has designed a specialty license plate featuring Indian’sLOVE that will be sold as a fundraiser for the organization as well as a way to promote arts in the state. If 2000 Maine residents pre-pay $29 for the LOVE plates, Indiana’s work will be made available for all car-owners across the state.
Indiana has lived and worked in Vinalhaven, Maine for the past 45 years. Although his pop art ranks among that of Andy Warhol and Ellsworth Kelly, Indiana has been shunned by the museum circuit. That is, until this year; 35 years after he left New York City, Indiana will have his first major exhibition in the Big Apple. The Whitney Museum will hold “Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE” September 26 to January 5, 2014. (via complex.com)
View our Robert Indiana collection here.