Sherri Tracinski suggests there have been beautiful sculptures of star-crossed lovers (Rodin’s The Kiss more than any), and of “other-worldly lovers (like Daniel Chester-French’s The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Man That They Were Fair) but this piece by Sandra J. Shaw, she reckons, is the most satisfying depiction of love she’s found. The Kiss , she says, depicts love on this earth as tragically doomed; and the French’s creation “isn't a real love,” so is ultimately not emotionally rewarding.
“It has taken me years [says Tracinski] to find in a piece of sculpture depicting love that was real, benevolent, and untainted by tragedy…
“The biggest surprise about this piece is that it portrays love by showing us a solitary figure. This isn't a love that is dreamy, otherworldly, and unreal; this isn't a passionate embrace doomed to tragedy; this isn't love conveyed through action. This is love conveyed through thought. Its focus is not on the physical relationship between the lover and the loved; its focus is on the spiritual meaning of love, in the person who feels it.
"This sculpture shows us, perhaps for the first time, that love is in the mind as much as in the body. It shows us that love is passionate and tender, that love is benevolent and obtainable. This sculpture is a celebration of what love is possible in this world—and it is far better than a dream, because here the love is real."
Read her full evaluation here, which is itself an art class in miniature.