Romantic Romp ‘Round the World'

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Some people dread Cupid’s annual moment in the sun and write nasty blog posts urging us to stand up to Valentine’s day. But to those people I say embrace it!  Every blessed February 14, Saint Valentine’s Day bestows upon us an excuse to prove to our Beloved how much we truly care.  I’ve done the ol’ flowers, trinkets, and wine-n-dine routine before…but this year I am stepping up my game and doing something special.  Timeless.  Worldly.  This year, the only way to possibly convey the depths of my romantic devotion…. will be…. a whirlwind fantasy tour, to see the most romantic pieces of art in the world!


To me, Valentine’s Day is a day to shout ‘LOVE!’ from the rooftops.  Artist Robert Indiana did just that with his iconic NYC sculpture, Love, which surprisingly began as a Christmas card image he designed in 1964 for the Museum of Modern Art.  (Maybe they shoulda saved it for Valentine’s Day…)  The world adored his stacked-letter Love with the crooked “O,” and lo and behold, it became not only a large-scale statue, but a symbol of hippie counterculture.  Peace and Love, and let’s get groovy tonight!   


But perhaps this twelve-foot proclamation of LOVE isn’t enough to express my own tender love…a love so, so overwhelming, it’s like being shot by Cupid’s arrow – a gigantic monstrous Cupid with an arrow the size of a school bus.  This year, Claes Oldenburg’s gargantuan bow-and-arrow, Cupid’s Span, plunged into the bayside breast of San Francisco, might prove to my Love the intensity of my feelings.  Oldenberg’s larger-than-life weapon of romance may be massive, but it melds naturally into the scenery, thanks to its thoughtful arrangement on the hillside, mirroring the real-life bridge and boats behind it.  


But perhaps Oldenburg’s giant projectile is a little aggressive… something sweeter should do the trick.  Like puppies and flowers!  Thanks to artist Jeff Koons, I can demonstrate my love with a larger-than-life dog sculpture bursting with live, blooming flowers.  Located in Bilbao, Spain, Koons’ Puppy is a delight to behold…and to smell!


Though these pop-artworks are adorable, I need to ensure my love realizes how invaluably, eternally perfect we are together.  Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, in a palace in Vienna, will be the golden ticket!  Literally, this 1908 painting incorporates honest-to-goodness gold leaf  – lots of it!  How’s that for proving what a treasure my love is to me?  Plus, in this perfectly square canvas, the romantic couple nearly melds into one as they embrace, their shiny gold cloaks intertwining in front of a starry, gold-flecked sky.  Yes, this Valentine’s Day, witnessing these well-loved artworks will do justice to my feelings for my Beloved.  Until next year…

By Carolyn Nickell

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Carolyn Nickell


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