Elinor Carucci on Photographing a Bad (but Fascinating) Kiss

Posted by on Friday December 15, 2017 | Fine Art, Fun

from The New Yorker Photo Booth blog. Photo ©Elinor Carucci

The December 11 issue of The New Yorker features Elinor Carucci’s arresting close-up photograph of a kiss, shot on assignment to accompany a short story by Kristen Roupenian. The story, about the self-deceptions and self-abnegation of a young woman who goes on a couple of dates with an older man, has drawn a lot of attention, at least in part, one could argue, because Carucci’s photo is such an inducement to read it. The photograph, which is deceptively simple, manages to capture a “grisly imbalance of desire,” as New Yorker staff writer Amanda Petrusich explains in an interview with Carucci about how the image was created—with a real-life couple as her models.

Here’s a short excerpt of that interview. The full interview, available on The New Yorker’s Photo Booth blog, is well worth reading.

Amanda Petrusich: Did you know you wanted his mouth to be open and hers to be closed?
Elinor Carucci: In the story, [the protagonist-narrator] talks about how aggressive and overwhelming his kiss is. He’s doing too much. His tongue is in her throat. I wanted to try and get something that would feel like she’s gentle and he’s just doing too much. With every photo shoot, I have an idea of what I want to get, but then when you’re there, with people, they’re who they are—and there’s a dynamism to their feel, their physicality, their smell, what they’re doing, and I have to follow that.

AP: The blackness between his lips feels really purposeful.
EC: The kisses were so alive. They were happening right in front of me. But we did play with almost-kissing, kissing, slow-motion kissing. I tried to work with who they were, but also to direct them in a way that would allow me to take pictures. Some of it was also about—I don’t want to sound too poetic—but it was about the conceptual space between a couple, any couple. Even if you’ve been married for 20 years, there’s something that’s always there, between two people. With the composition, I wanted to create that space.

Related:
PDN Photo of the Day: Elinor Carucci, “Eye,” 1996
PDN Photo of the Day: Elinor Carucci (2008)


COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Nobuyoshi Araki Accused of Abuse and Exploitation by Long-Time Model KaoRi

Posted by on Wednesday May 9, 2018 | Fine Art

Inspired by the #MeToo movement, Nobuyoshi Araki’s long-time model KaoRi has publicly accused the renowned Japanese photographer of misleading her into working without a contract, distributing pictures of her around the world without her knowledge or consent, and failing to compensate her fairly for her time or for her her role in Araki’s work. KaoRi... More