Labor of ‘LOVE’

Since Robert Indiana’s death in 2018, Portland Press Herald arts reporter Bob Keyes has been covering the complicated saga surrounding the “LOVE” artist’s life and legacy. But there were more notes and conversations than what made it into print. During the pandemic, Bob spent much of his downtime putting the vast knowledge he’s amassed into his first book, “The Isolation Artist,” released Sept. 7. Tonight, Bob will give a behind-the-scenes look at reporting this story, from sifting through court documents rife with disturbing details to hitting the ground in Vinalhaven where nearly everyone had an opinion about the man responsible for an image that appears everywhere but whom they hardly ever saw.

Photo by Sean Alonzo Harris

Bob Keyes has been writing about the arts in Maine for the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram since 2002. In 2017 he received a Rabkin Prize for Visual Arts Journalism in recognition of his contributions to the national arts dialogue. He’s received numerous awards other for his writing, and in 2014 the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance honored him with its Distinguished Achievement Award for “exceptional and steadfast” contributions to the Maine literary community.

“The Isolation Artist: Scandal, Deception, and the Last Days of Robert Indiana” is his first book. He grew up in Massachusetts, graduated from the University of Georgia in 1984, and lives in Berwick with his wife and stepson.

Keyes will be interviewed by Press Herald web editor Katherine Lee.

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