This painting is second in what I hope is a long series of works about love. I had this idea in mind for around four years, and I questioned it until I started reading Bell Hooks' All About Love: New Visions, where she talks about the importance of love and her journey through studying it. I realized my desire to speak about the different forms of love: communal, familial, romantic, healthy, toxic, growing, changing, big and small. Love, in all forms, should be spoken about. That was the sign that I needed to get this out of my head and onto a canvas.
I painted, I love you in different languages on a planter box in downtown Towson, MD, for their Boxes & Blooms series last year. I wanted the community to see and feel loved. And, for Valentine's Day this year, I wanted to explore a different side of romantic love where letting go can feel punishing on both sides, but at the same time, can be freeing and a lesson learned, never taking away the depth and beauty of that love.
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Design: The Artist Oliver James
Photography/Videography: Oliver James Studios