The “Kiss” Mural at 1944 Pacific Ave/Washington Blvd, Venice. Photo by Clarissa Cervantes
Alfred Eisenstaedt’s original photo, Times Square, New York, August 14, 1945, published in Life magazine.
Strolling down Pacific Avenue for a coffee on the beach I couldn’t stop but notice the fairly new mural on the corner of Pacific Avenue and Washington Blvd, “The Famous Kiss”.
Celebrating love, this mural has a twist about love with propane tanks in front of the mural. The original photograph history of V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day) in Times Square is a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt that portrays an American sailor kissing a woman in a white dress in Times Square in New York City, on August 14, 1945. The photograph, taken with a Leica IIIa camera, was published a week later in Life magazine among many photographs of celebrations around the United States that were presented in a twelve-page section titled Victory Celebrations. Kissing was a favorite pose encouraged by media photographers of service personnel during the war, but Eisenstaedt was photographing a spontaneous event that occurred in Times Square as the announcement of the end of the war on Japan was made by U.S. President Harry S. Truman at seven o’clock on August 14, 1945. Similar jubilation spread quickly with the news.
From Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt:
In Times Square on V.J. Day I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make a difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder but none of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse. If she had been dressed in a dark dress I would never have taken the picture. If the sailor had worn a white uniform, the same. I took exactly four pictures. It was done within a few seconds.
If you have a chance this weekend celebrate love and visit the mural at 1944 Pacific Ave, Marina Del Rey.