I was inspired to paint The Kiss, in my own style, as I have always admired the work of Gustav Klimt.
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession Movement. I found this also to be very interesting. Gustav took strides not to conform, established his own new unique style, with a passion. I have always loved the “Rebel”, a free thinker, with original ideas. In my painting there is an Art Nouveau style all over the background, as was the period at the time of The Kiss. I kept the Symbolism, as it is so important to the painting, with my own edge and design.
Romanticism was also an important factor behind my inspiration. In today’s world, so much is not left to the imagination. At the time of the original, it would have been quite shocking and cutting edge. Today the painting is adored and stood the test of time. In my opinion it is of the imagination, with a dream like quality, parts hidden, that today would be shown, in media and tv. A beautiful outstanding piece of Artwork.
I myself love the line of curves in artwork, so the line is quite strong, in my own. Bright color’s is mostly in all my artwork, so I was happy for a fresh vibrant feel. I used acrylic.
Klimt’s subject was the female body. In my painting, the female is quite equal to the male, showing equality in society today and very feminine. I wanted to show the male’s face and the touching of heads as a sign of inner love and tenderness.
Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art. My painting has an Asian style too and mixing of styles I feel can be quite effective. After living in Greece for eighteen years, the temple like patterns on my painting and arch, are the visions that come easily to me. Klimt’s work also included Ancient Greece and Egypt (1891), Pallas Athene (1898), Nuda Veritas (1899).
Klimt achieved a new success with his ” golden phase”, many of which include gold leaf. I used acrylic and bold orange and yellow. Drips of gold paint was added after.
I the early 1890’s Klimt met Austrian fashion designer Emilie Louise Floge (a sibling of his sister-in-law). She became his companion until the end of his life. The Kiss (1907-08) is thought to be an image of them as lovers. He designed many costumes that she produced and modeled in his work. The life behind the painter, always makes the painting more interesting to the viewer. When we look at Klimt’s Kiss, we understand his human side, feelings and emotions. We ourselves can connect as people and of maybe different times in our lives, even imagine how it was then.
Klimt’s Golden Phase marked by positive critical reaction and financial success. His trips to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their beautiful mosaics, most likely inspired his gold technique and Byzantine Imagery. Byzantine art, which refers to the body of Christian Greek artistic products of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, as well as the nations and states that inherited culturally from the empire. I too was greatly influenced after my time spent in Greece, just outside of Athens. The beautiful Icons still displayed in churches and homes, I was fascinated by their beauty and meaning combined. Mosaic authentic and classic, used in buildings and temples and simply in homes.
Klimt led a very simple life, travelled little. He avoided cafe society and seldom socialized with other artists. His time was devoted to his art, family and little else except the Secessionist Movement. I can relate to his life style, as I devote my time to my family and artwork mostly and live a quiet life.
Klimt too, never painted a self-portrait, saying I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women…. There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night… Whoever wants to know something about me… ought to look carefully at my pictures. In 1901 Hermann Bahr wrote, “Just as only a lover can reveal to a man what life means to him and develop its innermost significance, I feel the same about these paintings”.
I admire Klimt for his truth and modesty and creative genius. He has been a great inspiration and great interest to me.
On February 6,1918, Klimt died, having suffered a stroke and pneumonia sue to the worldwide influenza epidemic of that year. He was buried at the Hietzinger Cemetery in Hietzing, Vienna.
Klimt’s paintings have brought some of the highest prices for individual works of art. Adele Bloch-Baver II, sold for $150 million in 2016.
To research, such a great man, has been of much interest to me. To paint my own style of “The Kiss” in respect and inspiration of such a great artist has been deeply satisfying.
Thank you for your time and attention. Hope you have enjoyed this Blog and my painting. Your feedback is very much appreciated.
Deborah Kalavrezou, Artist.