A Kiss Is (More Than) Just a Kiss: Elliott Erwitt’s Portraits of Intimacy

California, 1955.
Elliott Erwitt—Magnum
California, 1955.

Eighty-five-year-old Elliott Erwitt has photographed pretty much everything under the sun. With more than 45 books to his name, the Magnum legend’s career has spanned the beatniks, hippies, Yuppies and millennials. And while men and women outside the photography world might not recognize his name, they certainly have seen his pictures, many of which have earned the sort of iconic status that artists and craftsmen so often strive for, and so seldom attain.

To commemorate Valentine’s Day in a unique and moving way, while still paying heed to our mission of presenting exceptional photography, LightBox turned to Erwitt’s sprawling archive for inspiration — and struck gold. Sparked by his famous photograph of a necking couple reflected in a car mirror while parked on a picturesque California overlook, LightBox offers a look at some of Erwitt’s masterful images of that uniquely human expression of affection, and ardor. In the midst of public plazas and parades, in cars and kitchens and weddings, Erwitt raised his camera, clicked the shutter, and made the most quotidian of acts — the kiss — look positively divine.


Elliott Erwitt is a Magnum photographer living in New York and was the recipient of the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award in 2011. LightBox has previously featured his work here and here.


Related Topics: , , , ,

Latest Posts

Gaza Strip, Gaza City: Palestinians travel to a shelter at a UN school after evacuating their homes near the border in Gaza City on July 13, 2014. ALESSIO ROMENZI

Innocents in the Crossfire: Alessio Romenzi’s Shocking Photographs From Gaza

The world has become used to seeing images of dead civilians caught in the crossfire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, says Italian photographer Alessio Romenzi. Yet, he believes it's his role to bear witness for future generations

Read More
20131118 001

‘Recklessness and Rebellion’: Meet The Cool Kids of South Korea

Democratic Republic of Congo War

Things Fall Apart: Masculinity and Violence in Congo