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Showing posts from February, 2011

Hearts and Thoughts

It's the week following Valentine’s Day. Maybe at this point, you are sick of anything red and heart shaped after being inundated with Valentine messages and imagery since the New Year. Maybe you love anything heart shaped, wearing it as jewelry and decorating your room or home with hearts from country to contemporary. We use heart icons in so many ways. In a greeting card we can find kitschy expressions of adoration. In fine art paintings we find the symbol used as an expression of deep love or as in a Frida Kahlo painting, deep pain. It even has worked its way into our language to replace words like in the famous “ I heart New York” slogan. But all these references point back to a way to visually express an emotion that is not easily depicted without an icon to represent them.My research into iconography would not be complete without exploring the origin of the heart shape. How did this symmetrical symbol that only vaguely resembles the actual organ become a universal icon? An i…