LOVE BOMB series

life of the party love bomb
(“life of the party” initially show at 530 Sante Fe Dr Denver Colorado May of 2016)
Love Bombs is a series of works I made inspired by absurdity. The Dada movement of 1916 was born out of the shock and horror of World War I. Similarly the paintings and sculptures in this series explore the reversal of conventional bombs designed to harm humans. Today bombs are disguised in ordinary items like shoes, suitcases and vests. What if we invested in love bombs instead?

When a person is near a love bomb’s explosion, it is said that the first wave is warmth — tremendous tickling warmth. The second wave is slightly disorienting. Our normal reference points are shaken up. The third wave is apparently very rich and full of life but never spoken about, and only something that is felt. Felt head to toe and in the chest.

tough love bomb

“tough love bomb” polyurethane foam acrylic paint and glass beads

The intense pigment used in this show represents the brilliance in the world and the heartbreak of lives lost to bombings. The color variations represent the inclusiveness of these particular love bombs. No one is left out. If one went off there would be no discrimination as to who it might touch.

Morning love bomb vest

“Morning love bomb vest” vintage Japanese silk kimono

The love bomb vests are made from silk Japanese kimonos. I’ve been collecting kimonos since I was a teenager. I’ve always been drawn to their alluring texture and impeccable design. As a child one of the first times I saw kimonos being used was at a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. I was struck by the immense appreciation for everything in the ceremony: how one served tea to the guest, the tea cup, whisking the tea, decorating the tea with gold leaf and the beautiful clothing. There was no rushing and tremendous patience and awareness happening all at once. To me they were ceremonies of appreciation. Love bombs.

When it came time to make the love bomb vests, kimonos were an obvious choice. In my mind, love bomb vests would naturally be ornate. Also considering that perhaps the biggest anti-love bombs in our history were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it felt appropriate to indirectly acknowledge this horrific tragedy.

Ian McLaughlin

© 2016