Joel-Peter Witkin, “The Kiss”, 1982
I will preface this by noting that Witkin is a very well known and achieving artist, and I personally adore his genius – however the work is also difficult for some to take in, so be forewarned… An early childhood memory left Witkin obsessed with the idea of death. This theme is brought up in his work along with the grotesque. Many of his images contain corpses, body parts, transsexuals, the physically deformed and so on. His complex tableaux often appear similar to old classical paintings. This image titled “The Kiss” leads us to happy thoughts of love, however these two heads are actually one person, his head cut in half and re-positioned facing himself.
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