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Happy Valentine's Day - Couple Edition

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Let some of the most romantic artist couples of all time inspire your LOVE this Valentine's Day.


1. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Okay, if you know anything about Kahlo or Rivera, you already know this pair wasn’t exactly the most romantic couple ever. Their marriage was marked by multiple affairs- mostly on Rivera’s side, then Kahlo angrily responded with her own infidelity- and even a divorce. But the two remarried in the same year they divorced, and despite their troubled relationship, they stayed together until Kahlo died on what Rivera called “the most tragic day of my life.”



2. Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz

O'keeffe and Stieglitz could not keep their hands off each other. The two had an affair, through letters and lovemaking, for over two years before finally marrying. O’Keeffe became Stieglitz’s favorite subject to photograph. If you want to feel some hope that soulmates really do exist, try reading some of their love letters.



3. Charles and Ray Eames

Can these two get any cuter? This dynamic duo helped pioneer modern American architecture and furniture, most notably with their Eames Lounge chair. Ray died exactly 10 years, on the day, after Charles; they are now buried next to each other in St. Louis


4. Keith Haring and Juan Dubose

 

Andy Warhol took these intensely intimate polaroids of Haring with his on again - off again boyfriend of five years. Both Haring and Dubose died to due AIDS-related complications in the 1980s.


5. Jeff Koons and Ilona Staller

Koons accomplished every thirteen-year-old boy’s dream of marrying a porn star. Then he went ahead and made several explicit artworks depicting the two of them having sex. The marriage only lasted a few years because Illona wanted to continue producing porn while Koons wanted to be monogamous.


 

6. Salvador and Gala Dali

Salvador had such an intense phobia of physical contact that he allowed his wife and muse Gala to have sexual affairs with other men while he acted as voyeur. Their open marriage lasted until Gala’s death in 1982, which caused Dali so much pain he attempted suicide.


7. Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell

These two wealthy abstract artists were known as the “golden couple” throughout their marriage that lasted from 1958 to 1971.


8. Man Ray and Juliet Browner

Twenty-one years difference in age couldn’t keep these two apart. Man Ray married his muse Juliet in 1946 at a double wedding with friend Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning. They remained married until Man Ray’s death in 1976


9. Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight

Both students of Augusta Savage at the Harlem Community Art Center, Lawrence and Knight got married in 1941 and established a foundation to support upcoming professional artists. The two remained together until Lawrence’s death in 2000.


10. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner

Pollock didn’t trust anybody other than Krasner to judge and influence his work. He died in a car accident with his mistress, Ruth Kligman, but Krasner managed her former husband’s estate and even protected his reputation despite changing trends in the art world (and the fact he cheated on her).


11. Willem and Elaine de Kooning

A complicated relationship characterized by multiple affairs and the destruction of each other’s paintings, the de Koonings had an open marriage that resulted in separation, but not divorce. After twenty years of separately dealing with depression, poverty, and alcoholism, Willem and Elaine reunited in 1976.


 

12. Pablo Picasso and Jacqueline Roque

Picasso was almost 50 years older than Jacqueline, but that didn’t stop him from bringing her a rose every day for six months. After their marriage in 1955, he proceeded to paint over 400 portraits of her until he died 11 years later.

As they say, love makes the world go round, and in the art world, love is no different. It is the driving force behind almost every piece of art created. We hope your Valentine’s Day is full of love, whether it’s provided by spending time with your significant other/family/friends or by visiting your favorite museum and looking at your favorite piece of art.

...and for those you who couldn’t care less about love, here’s an unspirited picture just for you:

Red White(Upside Down Heart), Ellsworth Kelly, 1962

By Alannah Clark

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Alannah Clark

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