Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Episode 94: A&F's Top 10 Smooches!

It's almost Valentines Day, the day of love, and in honor of that day we here at Arts & Facts have compiled our own list of the top 10 smooches (kisses) in art. This has been a fun episode to research and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we had recording it!

Without further ado we give you:

Number 10

1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney
Snow White was the very first Disney Princess created in  1937 and was the epitome of innocence. I wonder if they knew then how long this magical kiss would live on, and how many incarnations it would have in pop culture.

Number 9

2004, Kissing Coppers, Banksy
These kissing coppers are located in Brighton, England on an exterior wall of the Prince Albert Pub. After vandals many attempts to deface the image the owner decided to sell it, for it's own protection (sure). In 2008 an art restoration company used chemicals to transfer the image from the pub wall onto canvas. You can still visit the Brighton pub to see a replica of the original, which has been covered by plastic to protect it from further attempts to deface it (as seen in the image above).

Number 8

Maritte, Lovers, 1928
Maritte's eerie interpretation of a kiss isn't an image soon forgotten. While kisses are supposed to be intimate touches the fabric over the lovers faces prevents them from actually touching. This can be interpreted in a couple of ways, the first is that as much as we might love someone we can never really know them fully, and the second is that perhaps the use of the fabric is a way to represent longing that can never be fulfilled. Either way Maritte's Lovers leaves a lasting impression.

Number 7

Picasso, The Kiss, 1969
The Kiss by Picasso is the last in a series of three, the other two being a sketch and a black and white image. There isn't a whole lot of information available on this piece but we think it's fair to say that if you didn't already know it was a Picasso you could easily tell at first glance. In this painting the woman seems to be much more engaged in the kiss than the man. 

Number 6

Canova, Psyche Revived by Cupids Kiss, 1787-1793
Canova's sculpture of Psyche and Cupid was just recently mentioned in our Classical Revivals episode, but it's so beautiful it deserves more attention. If you don't know the story behind this myth you can read more about it here at the Louvre's website. The twisting forms in this sculpture make it very interesting to view, keeping the eyes moving until they stop at Cupids lips. A very romantic piece to be sure.

Number 5

Richard Lam, Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot, Kissing Couple, 2011
This image was taken in 2011 during the Stanley Cup Riot in Vancouver, Canada. The riot broke out after the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup against the Vancouver Canucks (never mess with Canada's hockey!). Businesses were looted, cars were set a flame and 140 people were injured. In the middle of all this we see a couple laying in the street kissing. Some people thought it was staged, but the photographer who captured this image says it wasn't. In fact, the woman in the picture had been knocked down by riot police and her boyfriend was kissing her in an effort to calm her down. 


Number 4

Gerome, Pygmalion and Galeta, 1890
In a kind of creepy story we learn that Pygmalion is sick of women. They're all rather superficial and selfish in his opinion, so he creates a sculpture of his perfect woman and kisses her everyday until she becomes real. In this image we see the moment of transformation when a normally cold kiss against marble becomes a warm kiss, flesh to flesh.

Number 3

Alfred Eisentaedt, V-J Day In Times Square, 1945
The Japanese had just surrendered and the war in the Pacific was over, people all over the US were celebrating. This is one of the images captured on that happy day in Times Square.


Number 2

Klimt, The Kiss, 1907-1908
This painting is part of Klimt's "Gold Period" and is famous for being compared to the Mona Lisa in terms of genius. Unlike the previous art works we have talked about there really isn't a story behind it unless we talk about Klimt himself who was known for his "fierce sexual appetite". 


Number 1

Rodin, The Kiss, 1882-89
Rodin's, The Kiss, is known as one of the most romantic sculptures of all time. It's a natural number one for us here at Arts and Facts. The story behind this piece is from Dante's Inferno and involves two adulterous lovers who end up murdered by the woman's husband.

We hope you enjoyed this week's episode on Arts & Facts Top 10 Smooches. Next week we will have a listener requested episode on Friedensreich Hundertwasser! We will see you then! Have a great week!


If you have topics in art history you're just itching to hear more about, leave us a comment or email us at: uvu.artsandfacts@gmail.com.