“It all came totally out of the blue,” Indiana says of the enduring LOVE success, calling it, for better or worse, “the centerpiece of my life.” He originally created the blue-green-red image as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art, and he lifted the blocky font from an old address book. “I had a double reaction, because lots of nice things were happening, and then lots of unpleasant things were happening—rip-offs,” he says. And though the counterculture movement of the late sixties embraced the design, the work’s held a much more ambiguous meaning. “Love is a dangerous commodity—fraught with peril,” Indiana once said to a documentary filmmaker—a quote which appears in the exhibit.
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