Contemporary Art Explained: Love One Another

Love One Another, Acrylic on magnetized puzzle pieces, approx 2 x 2 inches each piece, $15 per piece

I’ve been inundated with requests to talk a bit more about the inspiration behind specific pieces…but almost as many people have told me that they enjoy just staring at a piece, and letting feelings wash over them as they try to figure it out.

So, this will be instructive for those of you who want to know more, and SPOILER ALERT for those who want to approach the artwork with a completely open mind.

This piece, called Love One Another, is a bit of an experiment.

Thematically, it’s a response to gay bullying, like the other works, and looks at the aftermath of suicides caused by gay bullying. After the suicides of gay teens in Fall 2010 which brought international attention to the bullying problem in the US, it became clear that this is an issue which touches many people. It Gets Better videos have been viewed millions of times; President Obama and Ellen DeGeneres, among others, have said that everyone shares a responsibility for taking a stand against bullying.

This idea of everyone doing their part is the inspiration behind Love One Another.

This artwork is made of 100 painted, magnetized puzzle pieces. Unlike other artwork in this show, the individual components here are designed to be removed from the whole, with each piece taking on life of its own as a small abstract painting. This shows that we all “hold a piece of the puzzle”, we all have a stake in this problem, and can each do something to help solve it.

To that end, each piece is affordably priced at $15 (and remember that 10% of proceeds go to the It Gets Better Project). Removing pieces and taking them home is a commitment to taking a stand against gay bullying. Posting them on the fridge or a filing cabinet is a daily reminder of the responsibility that we all share.

The image is made of silhouettes of real boys and girls who committed suicide because they were bullied for being gay, or because they were thought to be gay. This piece is deliberately colorful and attractive in order to highlight the positive action that we are all taking; although gay bullying is a weighty topic, I firmly believe that the artwork about it doesn’t have to be bleak or depressing.

There is a secondary component to this artwork, one underneath the magnetized puzzle pieces, which will be revealed as the puzzle pieces are taken away.

You are only one.
One is enough.
Take one.
Help one.
Love one another.

A big hug and thank-you to my girlfriend Mia (whose brainchild this is) for all her help with this project and exhibition.

10% of proceeds from the Lavender Menace exhibition will be donated to the It Gets Better Project.
Keep up with the news from the gallery and read more about the exhibition here.

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