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Thursday 4 February 2010

All you need is LOVE

Ah, love. My attempts at expressing the way I feel are usually limited to drunken slurs of affection. It's far easier leaving it to the pros: the artists, writers and musicians who, since the dawn of time, have been trying to capture its essence. And, if you're looking to harness some of their spirit this valentine's day, you could do worse than looking to one of the most lasting and influential artistic expressions of love for inspiration: Robert Indiana's Love. Even if you couldn't name the artist, it's instantly recognisable for how it plays with the 'L' word - stacking a capital 'L' and wonky 'O' on top of the 'VE'. It was first created for the Museum of Modern Art, New York in the 1960s, then made into a street sculpture and since has been reproduced hundreds of times over. If you're looking for a valentine's gift for a culture vulture, surely all you need is a bit of this Love.

Purists can buy a print of the design from MoMA for $25, but far more nifty is this 3 inch high paperweight for sale from Tate for £60. It's made from brushed aluminium and, as you shuffle papers around your desk, will serve as a good reminder of the important things in life. Or if you prefer to wear your (he)art on your sleeve, they also sell it as a mini pin badge for £7.50.

If you're a less brushed aluminium, more a skipping through daisies kind of gal, you may prefer this print from clever old Bold and Noble who have done their own take on the artwork. They've straightened up the 'O' and changed its plain lines to pretty scrolls and flowers. This costs £38 and is definitely worth it for a special someone/yourself.

A similarly pretty, though far more practical, take on the design is this tea towel from Rockett St George featuring an illustration by Ros Shiers. Butterflies, feathers and hearts, it uses all the clichés but luckily somehow it remains quite lovely. And with all this for £10, it's enough to distract you from your dishes.

Mirror, mirror on the wall ... The choice is yours: give this to someone as a statement of your regard or give it yourself as a touch of self-affirmation. Once it's up in your home only you will know the difference anyway. £140 spare to figure out who you love the best? You can buy it here.

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