Bringing Dignity to Bogota’s Marginalized with ‘An Invisible Kiss’
The amount of quality street art that is produced in Bogota is staggering. Dizzying. I spent a few hours on the busy Calle 26 just outside the city’s center yesterday admiring the mountains of work which represents just a minute representation of massive urban canvas that the 6,000-plus street artists in the Colombian capital are creating.
Among that area’s highlight is the ‘Invisible Kiss’ aka ‘Kiss of the Invisibles’, or El Beso de los Invisibles, a ten-story-tall mural created by the Vertigo Graffiti Collective commissioned by the Mayor of Bogota in 2013. The city’s tallest work is a love story, but not an ordinary one.
It’s based on a photograph taken by Hector Favio Zamora from a photo essay for the daily El Tiempo of a homeless couple, Hernan and Diana, locked in an embrace and sharing a kiss, seemingly oblivious, for just that fleeting moment, of the desperation which surrounds them. Several photos of Zamora’s series for El Tiempo are here. Its an excellent series, be sure to check it out.
Explained the creators —Eksone, Zask245, Yurika, and Cazdos from Colombia and Jade from Peru— to documentary film maker Sophie Crew: “It is not a typical love but a love against adversity and social prejudice. People often feel invisible in the city. We wanted to give a voice to ordinary people.”
The dignity that the work imparts on the couple and message it sends in inescapable: everyone, even crack addicts and street people, deserve some happiness in their lives, too. Klimt would be proud.
Below is an excellent two-minute video, much of it a time lapse, showing the piece’s creation over the course of six days.