The Kiss, a contemporary art show presented by Miguel Rodez Art Projects
Kissing takes on different forms: Osculum (a kiss on the cheek), Basium (a kiss on the lips) or Savolium (a deep kiss aka a French kiss). At Miguel Rodez Art Projects, fine artists go beyond the obvious to interpret the kiss in often unexpected ways. They explore the power of The Kiss through the prism of contemporary art. Most of the artists are working on new pieces for this show.
Some anthropologists theorize that kissing may be an instinctive development arising from courtship behavior, as some animals lick and nuzzle each other in the face during courtship. Other anthropologists believe that kissing is the result of learned cultural behavior, as not many depictions or mentions of kissing are found prior to about 3,500 years ago.
Although sexual attraction may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the subject, the kiss has not always been an expression of amorous passion. It was an expression of betrayal, as when Judas kissed Christ to identify him to the Roman guards. It symbolizes danger, as is the case when the kiss of death is delivered a mob boss or a vampire. It has symbolized obedience, as Romans kissed their ruler's hands. It symbolizes parental affection when a kiss on the cheek is shared between parent and child. It symbolizes religious devotion, such as kissing the Pope's ring. It symbolized peace, as Romans kissed each other on their cheeks upon greeting to symbolize friendship, which is the same thing early Christians did with their or Osculum Pacis (peace kiss). It can also be used as an insult as in "Kiss my ass," which is not always interpreted as an insult among devotees of "dark kissing." The kiss can also have powerful magical properties such as breathing life into an object or a victim, as occurs in the stories of Pygmalion, Galatea and Sleeping Beauty or turning a frog into a Prince.
There have been many famous depictions of the kiss since 1,500 BC. Some more recent iconic ones were done by famous artists such as the following:
Constantin Brancusi: The Kiss
Antonio Canova: Psyche revived by the kiss of love
Marc Chagall: The Kiss
Edvard Munch: Kiss.
Pablo Picasso: Figures on a Beach.
Auguste Rodin: The Kiss.
Henri Toulouse Lautrec: The Kiss
See what a group of contemporary artists can do with The Kiss, at Miguel Rodez Art Projects during the Bird Road Art Walk, February 15, 2014.