Monday, February 14, 2011

Kiss of death, or Happy St Valentines Day!

Kiss of Death - Photo: Julie Clarke, 1996
I was looking through some of my past photographs this morning and found this one I'd taken in 1996 of Terry Rains  (artist friend) with one of the skulls he use to make. Totally staged, I'd asked him to look at the death skull as though he was about to kiss it. I was influenced of course by all those photos, artworks and films I'd seen over the years entitled The Kiss of Death. 
Believed to have been derived from Judas' kiss that betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:44-45), the kiss of death is basically something considered destructive and fatal. And perhaps a kiss we receive delivered by the wrong person may be perceived in this light.
Today is St Valentines Day - the day that celebrates romantic love as well as February 14th the day in which Valentine, a holy priest in  Rome was beheaded because he would not renounce his faith. His skull sits quietly in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, wearing flowers on its head and biting into a bone. Death, like love has a hunger that will never be satiated and just as well say the shopkeepers and restaurateurs rubbing their hands together in glee - $ signs in their eyes and smiles on their lips, whilst selling cards, flowers, chocolates, balloons and food for those who dwell in this la la land of love. So, to all you lovers out there delighting in this day - enjoy your Kiss of Death!


  1. or just ignore reference to this day completely.....that will be my approach


  2. I suspect the only way of doing that is to stay indoors. I dread turning on the TV for fear they'll be making a news report out of it.