Thursday, January 5, 2012

Love Me Do

Inspiration came one morning out of a clear blue sky earlier this week. What is love and how do we tell someone that we love them? There are many ways but what occurred to me is that we explored this mystery as children, in particular, as epitomized in the ritual of giving Valentine cards. We give gifts, as well, but it is the card idea that has taken over my psyche.

Valentine cards, all lace and romance, were hot items in the 1800's and came as regular folded cards but also as postcards. With mail delivery three times a day and on Saturday, too, this was love email of the times.

Cards became more commercialized in the late-1940's and were trotted home with the weekly groceries come early February.  These large 1/4" thick booklets, the same size as a scrap book today, were sold in the dry-goods section of the local groceteria. Those on card-stock were punched-out along perforations while others had a thick outline and were scissored from the pages.

Seen from today's standards and idylls of political correctness, these missives, signed or anonymous, stuffed into flimsy envelopes, and surreptitiously dropped on the corner of each classmate's desk, contained outrageous sentiments, suggestive poses and absurd premises.

This is what I will be presenting for the I Love You show, the content and look of vintage valentine cards,  a suite of pop art installation that illustrates the way we used to say, I love you.

(To read the captions more clearly, please click on each individual photo.)

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