Project 365 – Day 45: Romantic sculptures for Saint Valentine’s day

Feb 14 2012

Being that it’s Saint Valentine’s day, I set out this morning with a goal to photograph a few images that represented romance and love. I had 3 places in mind:

First, here is the image selected as the project 365 photo of the day.

The Secret Bench sculpture by Lea Vivot on Ave McGill College

The Secret Bench sculpture by Lea Vivot on Ave McGill College

The intention I had when setting up this photo was to have blurred pedestrians and cars passing by, producing an image that compares the worry free world when we are young and youthful to that of the harassed worker.

The resulting image didn’t really come out as I had intended and really should have waited until there were more people passing by and the light wasn’t so strong. I’ll probably try to recreate the concept another day.

For those interested, The Secret Bench is a bronze sculpture by Lea Vivot. Born in Sumperk, Czechoslovakia, and now resides in Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada. Other castings of this art piece can be found around the World, including Ottawa, Toronto, Prague and Bonita Springs in Florida.

Here’s another shot of the Secret Bench on McGill College:

Secret Bench sculpture by Lea Vivot on ave McGill College

Secret Bench sculpture by Lea Vivot on ave McGill College

Next up is the LOVE sculpture by American artist Robert Indiana situated outside the L Hotel on rue Saint Jacques in the Old Port.

Robert Indiana was born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana on September 13 1928. Indiana’s iconic work LOVE was first created for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964 and in 1973 was included on an eight-cent United States Postal Service postage stamp – the first of their regular series of “love stamps.” Sculptural versions of the image can be found at numerous American and international locations.

The problem photographing the Montreal LOVE sculpture is that there is a glass security screen surrounding the bottom part of the art piece :(

So I took artistic license and played around with the composition and adding some filters so as to remove the offending obstacle.

LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana on rue Saint Jacques, Montreal

LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana on rue Saint Jacques, Montreal

LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana on rue Saint Jacques, Montreal

LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana on rue Saint Jacques, Montreal

Just for an idea of what I was talking about regarding the difficulty of photographing the sculpture, here is a full on shot:

LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana on rue Saint Jacques, Montreal

LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana on rue Saint Jacques, Montreal

The final destination on my “love” tour was the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal on rue Sherbrook Ouest to shoot the heart sculptures by Jim Dine.

Jim Dine was born June 16 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a world renowned pop artist. Two of his famous heart sculptures are on display outside the Fine Art Museum.

As an aside, the Three Hearts on a Rock are on loan to the Musée by Georges Marciano, co-founder of the Guess Jeans denim empire and who also happens to own the L Hotel where the LOVE sculpture is.

Marciano moved to Montreal from LA in 2010 after losing a high profile defamation law suit and ordered to pay 7 ex-employees $260 million. Marciano bought with him numerous works of art, luxury cars and jewels and purchased the then named L’Hôtel XIXe Siècle (apparently without having seen the interior). Many of the works of pop art were hung on the walls for the enjoyment of the hotels guests.

In September 2011, the Superior Court of Quebec authorized the seizure of Georges Marciano’s assets and much of the art work, cars and jewels were seized. In December the  Honourable Justice Schrager of the Superior Court of Quebec deemed the seizures illegal and ordered the return of the property to Marciano.

The latest update appears to be that PricewaterhouseCoopers has yet to reimburse Mr Marciano and US trustee David Gottlieb might also be convicted for contempt of court for his own refusal to abide by Justice Schrager’s judgment.

There you go, an interesting little background on two of the art works I photographed this morning.

Heart sculpture by Jim Dine

Heart sculpture by Jim Dine

Heart sculpture by Jim Dine

Heart sculpture by Jim Dine

Heart sculpture by Jim Dine

Heart sculpture by Jim Dine

Three Hearts on a Rock sculpture by Jim Dine

Three Hearts on a Rock sculpture by Jim Dine

You can view all images in a gallery format here:

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Happy Valentine’s Day and thanks for stopping by.

Until next time.

- Martin

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