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© Robert Indiana / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Robert Indiana: Numbers

Robert Indiana, best known for his iconic “LOVE” series, lived in 21 different homes by his 17th birthday, and credits his ongoing fascination with numbers to his childhood spent moving between a flurry of addresses and zip codes. “Each one is loaded with multiple references and significances,” he said of his numbers. Indiana believed that each number has its own personality and symbolism, with one representing birth and zero representing death, and the numbers in between symbolizing periods from childhood through adulthood. He also attached significance to the colors he chose for his numbers, favoring red for one and four to convey the vibrancy of birth and the fiery period of adolescence, and grey for zero to convey a waning sense of time at the close of one’s life. For Indiana, many of these numbers also held personal connections, such as the highway routes and building numbers that were important to him.

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