Robert Indiana is known for his “Love” sculpture. Now, he is also becoming known as a defendant in a breach of contract case brought by Joao Tovar, a Monaco collector with sculptures that Indiana renounced. Tovar purchased ten works attributed to Indiana with certificates of authenticity (as every savvy collector should these days collecting works by living and thinking artists) from John Gilbert, Indiana’s business associate. His sculptures were called “Prem” or love in Hindi and were appraised in 2009 at $1.5 million.
Indiana, 83, resident of Maine, having settled another suit with Gilbert regarding their business and artistic relationship, rejected the Tovar sculptures as his own works. According to the settlement terms, Gilbert is prohibited from claiming that Indiana had anything to do with the “Prem” works. In the mean time, Indiana is reported to have said that “Prem” is a monstrosity and that the design resembles a refrigerator.
Note to self: Make art not war. Make love not war. Make love-inspired art not litigate.