Art to Get You Through Valentine’s Day

Calling all haters.

David Drebin, Heart of Fire (2013). Courtesy of Contessa Gallery.
David Drebin, Heart of Fire (2013). Courtesy of Contessa Gallery.

Single and alone, going through a breakup, or simply hate Valentine’s Day? We say go ahead and succumb to your Hallmark-holiday pessimism. No matter what stage of grief you’re currently in—denial, depression, or perhaps regaining hope?—art is here to help. Let these six artists express your fluctuating emotions for you, and soothe your broken heart.

Adam Fuss, From the series ‘My Ghost’ (2000). Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery.

Adam Fuss, From the series ‘My Ghost’ (2000). Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery.

Every single person brave enough to date nowadays has experienced the phenomena known as ghosting. That person you let yourself get excited about—you told your friends!—simply faded back into the digital ether, and you’re left wondering where it all went wrong. Ghosting victims will surely relate to the ambiguous nature of Adam Fuss’ haunting photography. Just like your loved one has faded out of your life, so do Adam Fuss’ intangible subjects. Moral: answers are not always guaranteed.

Katie O’Hagan, Suspension (2014). Courtesy of RJD Gallery.

Katie O’Hagan, Suspension (2014). Courtesy of RJD Gallery.

Mourning is an important part of the relationship grieving process. Late at night, when you’re wide awake and saying to yourself, “Is this really happening? Did I just get dumped? I’m going to die alone, etc.,” don’t spiral out. Use this time to process. Whenever you start feeling a little too hopeless and like nobody else could possibly understand, look to works of Scottish artist Katie O’Hagan to remind yourself, hey, we’ve all been there.

Cornelius Völker, Bottles (2014). Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery.

Cornelius Völker, Bottles (2014). Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery.

Once you’ve accepted that it’s officially over, great news! The real pain and suffering can begin. The wallowing process requires some creature comforts, so allow yourself a drink or three to numb the agony. Cornelius Völker’s painting of spirits will hopefully lift your own spirits. With time, his sharp photorealism will no doubt knock off your beergoggles, and give you some much-needed clarity.

David Drebin, Heart of Fire (2013). Courtesy of Contessa Gallery.

David Drebin, Heart of Fire (2013). Courtesy of Contessa Gallery.

With clarity comes anger! This is a particularly dangerous stage. You don’t want to make impulsive decisions you may come to regret, so instead, look for ways to help you simmer down. You can use David Drebin’s photograph of a burning heart as a mandala, releasing your anger while you contemplate its fiery take on love. Drebin’s work may help you put things in perspective, and is definitely more therapeutic than burning bridges.

Michael Scoggins, I’m Not Scared (2014). Courtesy of Wasserman Projects.

Michael Scoggins, I’m Not Scared (2014). Courtesy of Wasserman Projects.

Since you made the right decision to not add fuel to the fire, congratulations, you are now officially on your way to acceptance. Let Michael Scoggins’ endearing I’m Not Scared be your new mantra, and get back out there—it’s time. Scoggins’ large-scale scribblings might be reminiscent of a middle schooler’s diary, but sometimes it’s best to regress, get back to the basics, and slowly build yourself back up.

Josh Agle, <i>The Potato Eaters (after Van Gogh)</i> (2006). Courtesy of Lawson Menzies.

Josh Agle, The Potato Eaters (after Van Gogh) (2006). Courtesy of Lawson Menzies.

As the final step to signal your recovery to the world, it’s time to call your friends and paint the town red. Perhaps host a dinner party? As shown by the group in Josh Agle’s festive painting, a sit-down affair can be the perfect opportunity to show your friends that you are past your blue period, and thank them for answering all your depressing texts. Let Agle’s cheerful, retro style be your guide, and you and your pals are sure to have a great time. Breath a sigh of relief. You’re single and finally ready to mingle.


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