VINALHAVEN, Maine — Reclusive artist Robert Indiana was expected to make an appearance outside his island residence Saturday to take part in a celebration of his art around the world on his 86th birthday, but he didn’t emerge from his home, disappointing dozens of fans.
Indiana’s 1977 steel sculpture “Ahava,” meaning “love” in Hebrew, is one of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem’s iconic pieces.
The event was called International HOPE Day and took place in cities across the world. Indiana was expected to make a public appearance outside his home and studio on Vinalhaven Island, where dozens of fans had hoped to get his autograph on commemorative prints that they purchased from event organizers outside his home.
Kathleen Rogers, Indiana’s publicist, said he is in poor health and isn’t used to being around large groups of people.
“We’d envisioned a much smaller event” when Indiana initially agreed to appear, she said. “I think he was just overwhelmed with all the people.”
The artist is best known for his “LOVE” sculpture, in which the L and a leaning O sit atop the V and the E. His “HOPE” piece was done in the same arrangement.
Indiana is known for being reclusive. He once stood up President Barack Obama at the White House. Another time he made a crew from NBC’s “Today” show wait three days on the island before he would let them interview him.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press