Virtual Author Discussion "Isolation Artist" by Bob Keyes with Carl Little
When reclusive, millionaire artist Robert Indiana died in 2018 on Vinalhaven, he left behind dark rumors and scandal, as well as an estate embroiled in lawsuits and facing accusations of fraud. Join journalist Bob Keyes, author of “The Isolation Artist: Scandal, Deception, and the Last Days of Robert Indiana” for a discussion with Carl Little with the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, Oct., 28 at 7 p.m. on Zoom
“The Isolation Artist” is an extraordinary window into the life and death of a singular and contradictory American artist—one whose work touched countless millions through everything from postage stamps to political campaigns to museums—even as he lived and died in isolation, with a lack of love, the loss of hope, and lots and lots of money. Indiana was most famous for his iconic LOVE statue which he refused to copyright. By 2008, when Indiana created his HOPE sculpture the artist had signed away his work for others, eventually casting doubt about whether he had even seen some artwork attributed to him. At the time of his death, there were allegations of fraudulent artwork, of elder abuse, of caregivers who subjected him to horrendous living conditions. There were questions about the inconclusive autopsy and rumors that his final will had been signed under coercion. To write “The Isolation Artist,” Keyes repeatedly interviewed dozens of people in Indiana’s sphere, reported on court hearings, and reviewed hundreds of pages of legal filings and testimony about battles around his will, estate and art. Keyes takes readers inside the world of art dealers and law firms, and introduces them to an array of local characters on Vinalhaven whose lives intersected with Indiana.
Publishers Weekly writes that the book is “engrossing. This hard-hitting exposé of the contemporary art world and one of its controversial figures deserves a wide audience.” Paul Doiron, author of the Mike Bowditch series, writes “‘The Isolation Artist’ is a scandalously good tale of intrigue set on a remote Maine island and featuring a rogue's gallery of art hucksters, small-town grifters and self-dealing drug addicts. But the chief rogue in Bob Keyes's masterful investigation is Robert Indiana, a troubled genius who was often more trouble than he was worth and whose death has revealed webs of deceit that Keyes excels in unspinning.”
Keyes has worked as a journalist for four decades. He is a nationally recognized arts writer and storyteller with specialties in American visual arts and the contemporary culture of New England. Keyes has worked for the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram since 2002. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Rabkin Prize for Visual Arts Journalism in recognition of his contributions to the national arts dialogue.
Little is the author of more than a dozen art books. He has also published articles and reviews of art in numerous magazine. He is a regular contributor to Maine Boats, Working Waterfront, Art New England and Hyperallergic.
Copies of “The Isolation Artist” are on sale courtesy of co-sponsor Sherman’s Books, at any of their stores, online at shermans.com or by calling their Bar Harbor store at 207-288-3161. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link. To register fill out the form at jesuplibrary.org/events/keyes or email email@example.com.