San Diego Real Estate Voice : The Embrace of the "Kiss"

The Embrace of the "Kiss"

The Embrace of the "Kiss" The Kiss

The work " Unconditional Surrender" known simply as the "Kiss" is by Stewart Johnson II and is based on the famous photo by Alfred Eisenstadt taken in Times Square on August 14,1945, the day Japan announced it's surrender.

This 25 foot foam-urethane statue that is in need of repair will be returned to the foundation that sponsored it's creation. 

The statue is very popular with San Diego citizens and tourists alike and the consensus of the San Diego Unified Port District's Art Committee voted to remove this piece by the end of May this year and replace it with a permanent bronze painted version by the end of the year if the funds can be raised by supporters for the project.

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35 commentsWilliam Johnson • March 07 2012 02:58PM

Comments

William,

I had not realized that J. Seward Johnson, Jr, had done a station of the kiss.  I have always loved that photo, and there was a movie that included it as part of the story...We have some great J. Seward Johnson statures in Santa Barbara, and I had written a blog post about it Speechless Sunday. A

Posted by Ron & Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Marketing (ra@napaconsultants.com) over 2 years ago

What a powerful tribute.  I hope the new bronze statue does as much justice as this piece has.

Posted by John McCormack, AlbuquerqueHomes.com (Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com) over 2 years ago

Great photograph William, as always.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor. (Century 21 M&M - 209-633-2839 ) over 2 years ago

Hi William - Such an iconic image from that photo.  I hope they can make a permanent bronze version.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) over 2 years ago

Hi Alexandra, I will go and see if I can find your post. I really appreciate this artist's work as well.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hi John, I think it will do as well or better. With a painted bronze, the color will be richer and stay longer. This one is fading. 

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hi Jim, Thank you so much. I love showing off San Diego and all of it's treasures.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hi Susan, When I first saw this, I was so pleased to see it here in San Diego. There are about 10 of these around the country on loan but having our own in a durable finish, will make it all the more special.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

William, I can't imagine there wouldn't be tremendous public support for this effort as long as someone gets the word out...like you.  Is there a link you can provide if someone wanted to make a donation towards the cause?

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) over 2 years ago

Hi Mona, Well that is certainly a good idea. The chariman of the fundraising was selected yesterday and I will look into trying to get more details about how and where interested parties can go to express theiir support. Thanks for the idea.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

That same statue is at the harbor in Sarasota, Florida.  When I was visiting there a couple years ago, and saw it.  Patricia Feager posted pictures a couple of days ago of the one in Sarasota.  The folks in Sarasota were mixed in their feelings about it. . .But I thought it was wonderful, just like your photo, William!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 2 years ago

Hi Myrl, I saw that. It didn't appear to be the 25 feet tall version but I may not have noticed it in context. I had heard that the decision was to be made soon and wanted to wait until I knew if they would vote to agree to replacing it. Seems to me that they indeed embraced the " Kiss" with the caveat lthat someone  else pays for it, :-)

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

What an awesome statue... It would be ashamed not to repair it..Let's face it Wold War II it is a classic piece of history

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise in NE Philadelphia & Bucks County (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 2 years ago

Hi Hannah, Some refer to it as "kitsch" art and others love it, including me. Whatever it is, most people in San Diego love it and think of it as an icon considering the importance of San Diego to the war effort. The new version of this staue will be awesome and I believe the fundraising will be quickly forthcoming based on people's reaction.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hi William...Great Statue...Love it. I Never knew somebody did this, thanks for sharing with us all,,,and Great photo!

Posted by Fred Carver-Top Realtor Victoria, BC, Accredited Victoria BC Real Estate Consultant (Re/Max Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) over 2 years ago

William

It is such a cool statue...larger than life...and it's kinda sad it's leaving. Although I hear there is a petition floating around to try to amend that. Time will tell.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler CRS, Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360 (Solutions Real Estate ) over 2 years ago

Hi William,

I remember seeing the photo for many years. Recently I saw a documentary about the couple. If I remember correctly, they never found the sailor but identified the girl. They had an interview with her and she never dreamed her photo would become famous. She is about 85 years old now. 

I was not born yet but my parents were at the beach in New Orleans and my dad was on a 2 day pass. He was an Air Force pilot and my mother worked as a bookkeeper and followed him around all over except when he went overseas. My mother told me they were on the beach when the sirens started blasting and people started running. The thought ran through their heads as perhaps planes were coming as had occurred at Pearl Harbor a few years before. But then people were running and screaming but laughing as well. That was when they found out the war was over! We as Americans should never forget and this statue should be erected...in my opinion of course.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton, (909) 557-6966, CDPE, SFR, CHS-Redlands/Loma Linda (Keller Williams Realty) over 2 years ago

Hi Fred, Thank you so much. This has practically become an icon on the Embarcadero here in San Diego. San Diego played a major part in WW II.  It so fun to see the reaction  to find something like this on the waterfront. Many love the photo opportunity with the Midway behind.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hii Jeff, It is sad but I think the fundraising will be successful and we will have an even better one, a permanent one.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hi Kristine, Thanks for bringing in the story and you are right. One of the comments the nurse made is that she didn't know the sailor, he just grabbed her and the photo became a part of the war's history and it's happy conclusion. 

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

An intriguing art object but it does not begin to evoke the same feelings as the original photo that was on the cover of Life Magazine almost 60 years ago.

Posted by John Juarez, CDPE, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (Prudential California Realty) over 2 years ago

Hi John, I am quite sure you are right but it does elicite a very good experience when see it in the contest of the Miidway museum and the respect and honor paid  to our miilitary here in San Diego. It's all good. Thank you so much for your great comment. 

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

William, I've seen that statue during my visits and it certainly grabs your attention.  Plus the food at the neighboring restaurant is pretty good and the views of the harbor are great :)

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com) over 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing your photograph.  And, what an appropriate setting.

I hope you are having a wonderful week, with your camera in hand.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Retired Real Estate Broker, Maryland Blogger) over 2 years ago

William - I would guestimate that the version in Sarasota is at least 25 feet tall! It seems huge!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 2 years ago

Hi Bill and Liz, The restaurant scene is quite good as well as the short stroll to the Gaslamp Quaters which is amazing. The food choices would remind one of Manhatten or LA. 

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

The KissHi Roy, There is yet another view that I especially like. I will see if I can find it and come back and post it. 

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hi Myrl, The statues of which I think there are 10 out there, must all be the same. The photo I saw of it didn't look the same height but I am guessing there was nothing in the photo that showed it's relative height. It would stand to reason if they are exclusive editions from the same source. Thanks for confirming that

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

William, I hope the bronze comes back for a great permanent landmark! Thanks for sharing and great photo!

Posted by Keith Gilkey, 410-920-7214, Re/Max Chesapeake (Re/Max Chesapeake) over 2 years ago

William, I think that is a fun monument to a great moment in US History!  I like the other shot through the trees as well.

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Keller Williams Legacy) over 2 years ago

Yes! It's definitely at least 25 feet tall. I just did a blog post on this a few days before you did. Myrl has a great memory!

Patricia

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, GRI, Cert Negotiations Expert, Military Relo Prof, The Little REALTOR® That Could (Keller Williams Realty) over 2 years ago

Hi Keith, Me to. I really like where this is located and it creates a lot of interest. 

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hi Tony, Thank you, I think the last photo puts it's size and scale into perspective. But it is often missed because it blends  in so well into the trees that block it's full view until you are well into the area.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hi Patricia, I will go and check your post out again. Always love it when you stop by. 

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 2 years ago

Hi William,

I did not realize how tall it really is until you put in the picture of the trees. I sure hope your city's fundraiser goes well as it would be a shame for it to be removed permanently. Perhaps they will put the original one in a museum nearby as well.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton, (909) 557-6966, CDPE, SFR, CHS-Redlands/Loma Linda (Keller Williams Realty) over 2 years ago

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