Love Buttons, Love Bites series, 2008-2010

Love Buttons, Love Bites series takes on love, loss, and language by flirting with the fluid parameters of public and private, prose and poem. Sale initiated this process by going public with poetic language and evocative text fragments, in the exchange of campaign-style buttons, in text printed on large aluminum signs, in text drawings on paper, and in participatory activities. The series is part psychological experiment, part collaboration with strangers, and part compulsion to elicit intimacy.

The language of Love Buttons, Love Bites was drawn from 'found phrases' written by an informal collective of poets. (link to list of collaborators) Fifty-one different messages comprised a loosely organized framework in which some of the text fragments work together in sets.

From a university poetry center to a jazz festival to a museum of contemporary art, seven iterations of this series have been presented in differing contexts, including Scottsdale Public Art Program; Glendale Arts Commission; Intervene! Interrupt! Rethinking Social Art Practice conference at University of California Santa Cruz, CA; Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. The project was developed while on artist residencies at Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY, and at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY; and received the Elly Kay Fund Award from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, AZ in 2008.

Love Buttons - Scottsdale

Love Buttons

Love Buttons dispersed a sea of poetry into a crowd of 4,000 attending a rhythm-and-blues festival on a Sunday afternoon. The more than 9,000 buttons distributed first functioned as an event ticket (a commodity), then a kind of wearable art, which then became both interactive and performative in nature.

Stuck On You

Stuck on You

Stuck on You engaged a crowd of 18,000 to 20,000 attending a jazz-and-blues festival. During the two-day, 52-band event, the “Love Agents” and Sale gifted 14,600 stickers to festivalgoers. The project created an interactive event that stimulated festivalgoers to engage in playful, real-time interactions.



Butt-ins, was performed as a simple intervention into the Performance Art Wedding Series: Green Wedding of porn-star-turned-performance-artist Annie Sprinkle and her life partner, Elizabeth Stevens. The wedding was the culminating activity of a conference on intervention and social art practice held at UC Santa Cruz in May 2008.

Local Produce

Love Buttons in Local Produce

Love Buttons in Local Produce crossed into the private arena of a commercial gallery. For the opening that was set to coincide with an annual summer artwalk, the Love Buttons work spilled out onto the street, with thousands of buttons being carried out into an evening of art openings by individuals wearing them.


Love Buttons in Cicloviaérea

Love Buttons in Cicloviaérea positioned Sale’s buttons and drawings in two of Jarbas Lopes’ social art experiments in Brazil. Lopes and Sale and their respective artistic practices share an interest in investigations of conviviality and social interaction, often with an objective of producing concrete intervention in the social/cultural dialogue.

Love Bites

Love Bites

Love Bites featured signs installed within the U of A Poetry Center and mounted on lamppost throughout the community; a wall of text drawings at MOCA Tucson; a participatory performance to engage an audience in a write-your-own activity and group reading; and thousands of buttons carried out into the community.


additional studio works in series

Additional studio works consist of a series of text-based works including the original 51 drawings that were reproduced as buttons and signs. These 51 works comprise a single composite drawing and give rise to a tension between the formal qualities of the grid and the intimacy of the language.


Go to the Love Buttons, Love Bites website and check out the Button Gallery.

Copyright © 2009 - Gregory Sale Art