I LOVE YOU is a social sculpture and place of encounters to celebrate friendship and camaraderie at the Alexandria Waterfront. The project is conceived as an emotional monument and portable square composed of two elements — a rose-hued neon and metal sign standing 15 feet above a pink ground-mural emulating a giant, 36′ x 76’-carpet, rendered with blossoming flowers.
I LOVE YOU acts as an instant landmark, bringing people together with a simultaneously universal and personal message. The installation stimulates positive action and an avalanche of personal memories and desires. And, not unlike traveling circuses, troubadours, or The Travelling Wilburys, it travels spreading the thought.
I LOVE YOU challenges invitations to consumption that populate contemporary urban landscapes with an unexpected, unprecedented luminous thought. A message, suggesting the possibility of a gentler world. Together, the sign and the carpet define the outline of an open room belonging to all.
I LOVE YOU is envisioned as a poetic event that alternates between the public and the personal, intimacy and monumentality, social space and landmark, fiction and reality. Like Alice, from Alice in Wonderland, who changes scales transforming her perception of reality, I LOVE YOU provides physical evidence of the fantastic as part of daily life.
I LOVE YOU is the creation of Roberto Behar & Rosario Marquardt of Miami-based R&R Studios, a practice dedicated to the enhancement of the public realm and bridging art, architecture, and the city. Some of their best-known projects include THE LIVING ROOM in the Miami Design District and BESAME MUCHO and SUPERNOVA, two of their instant landmarks at the Coachella Art and Music Festival in 2016 and 2018. Rosario and Roberto are currently working on three large-scale social sculptures for Princeton University to be completed later this summer.
The installation is the latest public art project in the ongoing New Views in Old Town series at the Alexandria, VA waterfront organized by the City of Alexandria, Office of the Arts, and will remain at the park between March and November 2022.
Design Authors: Roberto Behar, Rosario Marquardt
Project Manager/Partner: Georgy John
Design Assistants: Siying Cheng, Ani Gonzalez, Joao Ribeiro, Kailyn Wee
Clients: City of Alexandria, Office of the Arts
Curatorial Consultant: Via Partnership, Meredith McKinley
Engineering: Ryan Joyce Structural Design
Fabricator: Lite Brite Neon Studio
Photos by R&R Studios unless otherwise noted.