The Loveseat by Eric Leon Freeman


 “Mighty waters cannot quench love; Neither can the floods drown it” The Song of Songs

 

Around 2008 I conceptualized and designed The Loveseat. I placed the azure fiberglass bench with its slogan of LOVE printed in hot orange letters on Main Street in the burgeoning SoMa district of Little Rock, Arkansas, where I live. Since its placement, The Loveseat has become an icon for the city. Lovers, friends, and visitors have shot photos with it as a backdrop; couples have said their wedding vows there; people have taken their coffee breaks on it, while others have sought out quiet moments of reflection; skateboarders have ramped off it, the homeless have sought respite there; photographers have utilized its setting and its message. Over the time is has been on Main Street, The Loveseat has become the quintessential icon in this racially and culturally diverse area of town. The bench is a beloved focal point; it has made people happy.

 

In December of 2015, this first incarnation of the Loveseat was stolen by unknown thieves and placed upon the steps of City Hall. This theft had unforeseen results, mobilizing a diverse community. When the seat was found and returned to its Main Street home, community spirit was rejuvenated, reminding everyone of the indestructability and universal resonance of LOVE.

 

From the beginning, it has been my vision to place The Loveseat in a number of cities around the world (in an array of colors) so that people in a multitude of places can enjoy it on many levels: aesthetically, functionally--and as a work of art which quietly radiates its sweeping anthem. It is my hope also that The Loveseat will—as it has done in my home city—connect a vibrant community, a city, a nation, nations--and world-- reminding us of our common humanity. The Loveseat is utilitarian--but it is also a conceptual piece. The object can be defaced, stolen, graffitied—even destroyed—yet LOVE is unassailable. 

 

Eric Leon Freeman

“What more can an objet d'art be? Drawn from an inner aesthetic vision - socially & politically relevant - sexual - daring, yet essential - an immediate object poised to support and to define all manner of humanity and sub-humanity in its assumed and un-assumed poses. The Loveseat by Eric Freeman is all things to all people, save the misanthrope. Perhaps we did not fully understand how much this simply conceived and simply wrought bench meant to us, until it went missing, while its restoration seems to redeem an entire community.” –Tav Falco