Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kiss And Tell

I flew to Sydney immediately after Christmas to meet a young professional couple who have commissioned me to paint their portrait.
It is to be one of the first of a handful I've agreed to undertake as something of an homage to the portraits Andy Warhol created from the 1960s until his death. His portraits weren't really paintings but photographs silk-screened then colored with paint.
I want to replicate their square, 106cms by 106cms dimensions and predominantly head-and-shoulders compositions but hand-draw and paint from (but not onto) photographic studies using mixed media, including oils.
I spoke with the couple by 'phone a few days before the shoot. They – and I – weren't interested in a 'traditional' portrait. I suggested that I photograph them as they kiss passionately. It would require privacy.
As it turned out, they were staying at my favourite Sydney hotel. I'd once photographed myself there having sex with a waif-like Korean girl for my 2008 photographic exhibition, PORNO.
I began photographing the couple almost as soon as I entered their room – small talk seemed inappropriate and hesitation awkward. At first, I arranged them on a large chair. It was uncomfortable so I asked them to sit on the bed. It was the proverbial elephant in the room but they were sweet, brave and trusting.
They kissed hard, unself-consciously, without pause, almost without breath. I moved around them, photographing from different angles. By the time I was done, a pink rash had formed around her mouth and his neck was stiff. But they were smiling and happy. I sat with them for a while, talking about the commission and its logistics. Then I left.
I didn't look at the photographs until today. I wanted some distance from the experience itself. It will be another few weeks before I select the image I'll use and begin the real work.

3 comments:

Julie Calton Watters said...

In reading this entry I became fixated on the concept of your PORNO show, and the description of the content. It occurs to me that a(if not the) primary difference between porno and art is that, in art, we let you see it before you pay for it.

Not to overlook your intended point of the entry, which is also quite interesting...

Lea said...

hej!
I found the kiss the utmost sexual act,the most kinky of all. It is the only act that conbine spiritual and sensual expression of true love. The sex is secondary, for me, the sex is just it,even as a gift.
But the kiss is so expressiv,exhibitionist,revealling.And thinking of porn the kiss can be the Top expression of sexuality ( a blow job,or it's women counterpart,just to think of the lips intercourse would never reach such erotism : wild fantasy )
When I think of the famous photo in Paris, or the magnificant Rodin at the Tate, I could remain hour just gazing in all it implies within my "rencontres" (lovers).
The kiss can be total intimacy, it can be expressiv in public, it can be porn as it is received by the spectator "pervers" mind.
I found it like the Univers, infinite and unfinished as no bounderies will remain in the thoughts of lust.
Nice photo concept,I love the hands.
Lea

Chad said...

Wanted to let you know that this is my favorite art blog.....and not because of the PORNO show. Though, it doesn't hurt.