Six Romantic Art Installations in Cities
Happy Valentines Day!
Now I know this loved up tradition is not for everyone. The haters are out in force today roaring with complaints of commercialism, cliche gifts, and overpriced blooms.
But I love Valentines Day and in Melbourne, where we’re usually hustling about and distracted by our digital lifestyle, the allocated day gives people a chance to stop and celebrate love.
Cities with their art and architecture offer a very romantic platform.
Some cities are naturally romantic, and Europe really do win in the stakes – think picturesque Prague or the beautiful water canals through Venice.
In Paris, whether you’re picnicking below the Eiffel Tower, finding your own seat at the Luxembourg Gardens or roaming the charming streets – it can’t help but be love(ly).
Earlier this week, I posted about ‘Heart of Hearts’, the golden heart kissing booths that are the latest Valentines Day installation at Times Square.
However for those not living in New York, I’ve sourced out a few other romantic art installations they may be just worth a visit. Here are my five picks:
1. Miami, Florida
At the foot of an escalator at Miami International Airport are the words: PEACE & LOVE constructed as wall art using silk flowers.
Designed by local artists Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar of R&R Studios, PEACE & LOVE is a social sculpture exploring the politics of hope through the universal language of flowers,” the studio said.
“The piece reminds us of the power of flowers and of “flower power.” Flowers become words; words become desire, and together, an expression of better things to come.”
You can find this located near gate D-29, Skytrain station #3 entrance
2. London, UK
Like Miami, this is something you might see in transit but Paul Day’s, The Meeting Place is a loving sculpture located in St. Pancras railway station, London.
The St. Pancras “Lovers” stand thirty feet under the great Dent clock in St. Pancras International station greeting travellers when they arrive. “The brief for the commission from London and Continental Railways, the company responsible for the billion pound restoration of this Victorian masterpiece, stated that the sculpture should be romantic, democratic and as iconic as the statue of liberty,” Day writes on his website.
3. Verona, Italy
Perhaps more architecture than art but if you live or are visiting Verona, Valentines Day is perfect time to stop by Juliet’s balcony.
Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta) dates back to the 13th century and features the balcony where Romeo promised his starcrossed lover, Juliet, eternal love in the famous Shakespeare story. You can pay a small admission to see the interior of the house which features furniture and beautiful velvet costumes worn by the actors in the Metro Goldwyn Meyer’s colossal “ Romeo and Juliet” according to Tourism Verona.
Below the balcony in the courtyard is a statue of Juliet which holds a legend that if you rub her bronze breast, you will be lucky in love. Since 2014, the statue is now a replica with the original restored and housed at Museum Castelvecchio.
There are also surrounding love locks and graffiti walls that display further messages of love.
4. San Francisco, California
Nestled into the earth by the bay in San Fransisco is Cupid’s Span by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.
According to the artists, the bow and arrow design was inspired by the city’s reputation as the home port of Eros – the Greek god of Love and rumoured son of Aphrodite.”As a counterpoint to romantic nostalgia, we evoked the mythological account of Eros shooting his arrow into the earth to make it fertile,” the artists said. “The sculpture was placed on a hill, where one could imagine the arrow being sunk under the surface of plants and prairie grasses. By slanting the bow’s position, Coosje added a sense of acceleration to the Cupid’s Span. Seen from its “stern,” the bow-as-boat seems to be tacking on its course toward the white tower of the city’s Ferry Building. was the Greek god of love.”
“As a counterpoint to romantic nostalgia, we evoked the mythological account of Eros shooting his arrow into the earth to make it fertile,” the artists said. “The sculpture was placed on a hill, where one could imagine the arrow being sunk under the surface of plants and prairie grasses. By slanting the bow’s position, Coosje added a sense of acceleration to the Cupid’s Span. Seen from its “stern,” the bow-as-boat seems to be taking on its course toward the white tower of the city’s Ferry Building. was the Greek god of love.”
5. Cinque Terre, Italy
Love locks are slowly being removed from bridges due to engineering concerns but for a picturesque setting where love locks still reign, try Via Dell’Amore (Lover’s Path) in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre.
“The Lover’s Lock” area provides a place to seal your eternal love and there is also a love seat shaped like with a couple locked in a kiss.
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
What would this list be without Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture? While there are many of them around the world, Philadelphia is often credited as the most popular as the city’s name translates to “brotherly love”.
There is something about the top and bottom format along with the tilted ‘O’ which seems to connect all the letters together as love connects all of us.
The LOVE sculpture is moving temporarily while its home, John F. Kennedy Plaza receives an overhaul over the next two years. You can visit it as it’s original location until February 23.