Sunday, April 1, 2012

Klimt - The Kiss

 "If you can not please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few" - Klimt

Artful April is underway! I'm creating art every day this month. Each day, I'll also learn something about art or experience it, observe it, live it, breath it in.

Today - I'm learning about.... Klimt's "The Kiss."  I saw this painting at LACMA during a special exhibition 6 or 7 years ago. It held me captive. It drew me in and held me there, as if the painting itself embraced me in a kiss. 

A few notes...

"Klimt was one of the most influential exponents of Art Nouveau, the movement which spread throughout Europe in the late 19th century. His approach was inspired by the ethereal atmosphere of work by artists such as Aubrey Beardsley, and by some aspects of Impressionist technique; it was also determinedly eclectic, borrowing motifs from Byzantine, Greek and Egyptian art....Gustav Klimt never married; never painted a single self-portrait; and never claimed to be revolutionizing art in any way"

"it does what a great piece of art is supposed to do: Hold your gaze, make you admire its aesthetic qualities while trying to discern what’s beyond its superficial aspects....In 1908, Klimt unveiled “The Kiss,” which depicts a man bending down to press his lips on the welcoming cheek of a lover, whose closed eyes and tight-lipped smile hint at rapture. Belvedere Museum curator Dr. Alfred Weidinger says the two people in the painting are the artist and his girlfriend at the time (he had several, apparently), Emilie Floge, and it’s set on a lake that’s only suggested in a swatch of blue and climbing reeds and flowers around the woman’s foot. What makes the painting special, however, are the auriferous flourishes and the blending of rectangular features on the male figure with circular counterparts on his partner. There’s a mix of east and west, like so much else in Vienna, as well as a hope for harmony. Beyond that, it’s stunningly beautiful."

Short Video on the kiss

I love the intensity, the passion, the two bodies intertwined.  The figures seem forever connected in an endless embrace. I appreciate the division between the male and female, their unique identities, their personal impressions- each distinctive but together even more impactful.

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