• T Clark
    6.3k
    Joel-Peter Whitkin- “The Kiss”Pinprick

    Serious question - Do you really find that beautiful?
  • Pinprick
    764


    Umm… it kinda depends. I mean, if I saw that in real life I’d probably puke, but I find beauty in it more so in how I interpret its meaning than just its aesthetics. I guess it’s similar to how people find stories beautiful. It has nothing to do with the way the words look. It’s about their meaning.
  • praxis
    4k


    What does that image mean to you.
  • T Clark
    6.3k
    Umm… it kinda depends. I mean, if I saw that in real life I’d probably puke, but I find beauty in it more so in how I interpret its meaning than just its aesthetics. I guess it’s similar to how people find stories beautiful. It has nothing to do with the way the words look. It’s about their meaning.Pinprick

    Just to be clear, I didn't mean to suggest that I don't think it belongs in this thread.

    It does kind of remind me of those old Monty Python graphics.
  • Pinprick
    764


    In case anyone isn’t familiar with Whitkin’s work, he is a photographer and often uses corpses and/or body parts for his photographs. In order to do this he made arrangements with local morgues who would essentially give him any bodies that went unclaimed/unidentified. So, he never really knew what he would be getting. With this particular image, so the story goes, he was lifting this head out of the box it came in, and dropped it. He didn’t realize that it had been dissected vertically, and when it landed it came apart and landed pretty much how he ended up photographing it. I mention this to show that I don’t think there was much intent involved on the part of the artist to create something with a specific meaning.

    To me, I associate the image with Narcissus, or vanity. He is literally kissing himself. Couple that with the fact that this is a dismembered head and it brings about the contrast between “loving life” and “death.” Were this picture taken of two living people, it would appear very tender and loving. So, to me it kind of captures both tenderness/love on the one hand, and disgust/death on the other. There’s something I find fascinating about the ability to transform something that’s typically, or stereotypically, beautiful and lovey-dovey, like a kiss, into something darker. And just the ability to capture these different juxtapositions in one image is kind of awe inspiring for me. But it could be read into as a sort of warning about the perils of vanity, like Narcissus. Or you could interpret it as showing that most likely this person loved his life before he died, which again brings tenderness into an otherwise morbid image. But anyway, that’s my long winded explanation.
  • Pinprick
    764
    Just to be clear, I didn't mean to suggest that I don't think it belongs in this thread.T Clark

    No worries. I didn’t take your comment like that.
  • praxis
    4k


    Wow, thanks for explaining. I was missing context, and admittedly too put-off by the image to give it more attention. I thought it was twins or trick photography or something.
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