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  • Writer's pictureDanning Wang

Love is Sufficient unto Love

--Exhibition Review of “My Funny Valentine” at Perrotin Online Gallery


Clicking into the specially curated virtual exhibition of “My Funny Valentine” at Perrotin Gallery, I felt that love surrounded me. The two hugging feather polar bears caught my eyes. Like Louis Aragon's poetry, "Around you, I have clasped my arms. I love you so that I tremble," the exhibition expresses the theme of "My Funny Valentine" through the different artworks of eleven imaginative artists -- paintings, sculptures, and installations. Like Perrotin Gallery's passion for making artists' projects possible, this exhibition makes me feel that:love needs to be celebrated, love is inclusive, and love has healing power.

This exhibition was opening on Valentine's eve and will show until March 28, 2021. Free browsing and a simple appreciation process are the advantages of an online Exhibition. Visitors could find the virtual exhibition at the "Viewing Salon" on There are thirteen art pieces and a song to show the artist's understanding of love. Throughout the exhibition, love is presented from multiple perspectives: female artists, male artists, and queer artists. From the standpoint of curation, it shows the diversity and inclusion of love and gender identification.

Although virtual exhibitions are challenging to make visitors feel immersive, Perrotin Gallery makes excellent efforts to display photos from different view angles of artworks to make visitors have a better online viewing experience. In particular, when I was browsing artworks, and I was listening to the music provided by the theme exhibition, I felt I was falling in love with the art pieces.

Love needs to be celebrated.

PAOLA PIVI, Long time no see, 2019,Urethane foam, plastic, feathers

One of the signatures works from the Italian female artist Paola Pivi, the "Long Time No See," is the colorful feather bears hugging and kissing each other. I felt love existed between two polar bears. Pivi used endangered polar bears as the carrier of artistic creation, especially the detailed depiction of the work, which shows the joy and happiness of the polar bears wearing red feathers. It seems to tell us that love is not the privilege of human beings. This work also expresses our current expectations. Because of the pandemic, some people are forced to be separated from their lovers. Although many people could not be together with their loved ones on Valentine's Day this year, fortunately, we also could celebrate this loving holiday in other ways. I hope that after the pandemic is over, we can hug our lovers in and say, "Long time no see." Pivi's artworks are imaginative and creative. She uses anthropomorphic techniques, in which polar bears dress in colorful feathers and pose various human gestures. They are lively and attractive. The brilliant colors with high saturation brought an intuitive visual impact to the audience. When you see two bears hugging and kissing each other, do you want to hug your lover immediately like me? Expressing the theme of love through the image of animals makes the tone of the entire exhibition exciting and vivid.

Love is inclusive and to be supported.

ELMGREEN & DRAGSET, Inner Dialogue, 2020, Epoxy resin, mirror-polished stainless steel

The exhibition also includes the latest Queer Love sculpture from Elmgreen & Dragset. The artists' duo is dedicated to expressing their support for the queer group and their political reflections through sculpture and public art. When I saw the sculpture "Inner Dialogue," I felt the inclusion of this exhibition and the desire to express gender identity through the theme of love. Sculptures represent the artist's ideas intuitively. The metal knot that connects the heads of the two men seems to express the struggle and the inseparable love between them. LGBT groups have a lot of pressure to survive in society, but love keeps them firmly together. Love is not a privilege between heterosexuals.

IVAN ARGOTE, Lengua con Lengua (Tongue with tongue), 2019, Bronze, casted concrete

I couldn’t take my eyes off the sculpture from Iván Argote, an artist and film director from Bogotá, Colombia. This kiss is tentative, and hard to hide the passion. Like every couple who loves each other, they express their love by hugging and kissing. This young artist is committed to critically look at intimacy through his works. The work reminds me that people in intimate relationships are both whole and individual. The sculpture made me feel that like people who have just fallen in love, they are both shy and eager. It also seems to express a couple who have been in love for many years; sometimes they want to kiss tightly, sometimes they want to keep independent of themselves.

Love has healing power.

“My Funny Valentine” virtual exhibition also collects some works of art expressing love in the quadratic world. Such as the Kaikai Kiki from Takashi Murakami, the iconic works represent that love is eternal.

I felt the curators' efforts to show love after I got to know each work in the exhibition. When they select pieces, they stand in a more inclusive and broader position. This exhibition contains works by female artists, including works by the queer group. The entire collection interprets the diversity and inclusiveness of love from a curatorial perspective. The selection of art pieces and artists also reflects the efforts of art institutions on supporting gender identity. Thus, I think it is a thriving online exhibition.

When I browsed this exhibition again, I felt the healing power of love and the collection.

Link to the exhibition:

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