Antone Könst’s Love Dove transforms hackneyed symbols into an imposing, wholehearted sculpture on the coast of Fishers Island in the Long Island Sound.
Approaching the island by ferry, the sculpture appears as a shimmering copper mirage. A soaring heart-shaped form faces the water, reminiscent of lighted beacons guiding sailors back to port. Upon arrival, visitors can see the other side: a sixteen-foot, brightly colored bird, which appears to have either just alighted on shore or to be ready to take off.
Wrought from concrete, steel, paint, and copper, Love Dove juxtaposes the daily passage of freighters, sailboats, and ferries with the evocative symbolism of the dove, long a messenger of peace and friendship. By underscoring the connection between the feral pigeons of cities such as New York and romanticized ideas of doves—scientifically, the same species of bird—Könst interlaces idyllic clichés of love and the heart with the unfiltered experience of daily life. Experiencing the sculpture, whether from land or sea, encourages reflection on this most essential human emotion and the need for its continued transferal from one person to the next. The dramatic changes of 2020, which coincided with the making of this sculpture, drove that point home for the artist: “I realized Love Dove, initially meant to be raw concrete and steel, needed color, needed urgent and unfussy spray paint, to be defaced by someone who loved it, beautified out of necessity.” For Könst, beauty, like love, comes from a commitment to working with the overlooked and the everyday. Change is inevitable; Love Dove reminds us not to forget that which matters most when we take flight. Love Dove will remain on Fishers Island through the end of the year.
Antone Könst is a sculptor and painter making figurative work which straddles the line between the heartfelt and playful. Often depicting animals or people suspended in a moment of action, his work denies resolution and asks the viewer to consider the tension of possibility. Könst grew up on a small farm in Lyme, Connecticut, and started painting and sculpting at a young age. After moving west to attend CalArts, Könst returned to CT to study at the Yale School of Art where he received his MFA. He was a 2015 fellow at the Fondation des Etats Unis in Paris, a recipient of the Rema Hort Man Prize in 2017, a Socrates Sculpture Park Emerging Artist Fellow in 2018, and has exhibited internationally, with a recent solo show at Tilton Gallery, New York and participation in group shows at Anton Kern and Andrew Edlin, NY, and at Each Modern, Taipei. Könst lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and daughter.
Love Dove was commissioned by Lighthouse Works. Visit their website here for more information.