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Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima comes to mind.


The same statue is in Sarasota Fl. at the harbor.

In 2005 while on a visit to the US I saw this statue on Staten Island in the grounds of the Snug Harbour Cultural Centre. I suppose its still there? http://www.bobmunro.com/album/statue#1
Cheers, Bob.

And I've seen this statue (or a very similar one) in San Diego, directly alongside the U.S.S. Midway museum.

It seems that there are multiple copies of the statue, which have been displayed in various places. I saw one in San Diego a few years ago and loved it!


Michael's correct - it seems to have moved on - Google earth has it in Sarasota. Or are there more than one?

We saw it in late July 2010 in San Diego, alongside the aircraft carrier Midway/

you can see another snap from the same moment by another photographer. I don´t know who.
But Eisie`s one is better.

And then there is this Kiss adjacent to the USS Midway museum in San Diego:

Eise's cameras are obviously Leica IIIC's. I wonder what his lenses are?

Egads. That statue looks like a ghastly plastic concoction whipped up by Jeff Koons. And I most emphatically don't mean that as a compliment.

I didn't see it the last time I walked through Times Square a couple of weeks ago. Seems like it would have been hard to miss.

"Forever Marilyn" by J. Seward Johnson
Chicago, 2011

I like this, currently in Pioneer Court across from the Wrigley Building in Chicago.

On the other side of the world in Japan, 8/15 has associations with either the Hiroshima Dome and loss of war, or the large characters depicted with bonfires on the hillsides around Kyoto. (These are lit to send the ancestors back home at the end of the Obon season.) August is also the time of horror movies in the theaters.

I was in Times Square last week on holiday and I didn't see the statue there. I don't think I'd have missed it because of its physical and photographic stature.

We have the same statue in San Diego at the USS Midway museum.http://www.flickr.com/photos/boyinbag/3238687276/in/photostream

If I may echo Geoff's feeling...

That's not a statue, this is a statue:


(I saw it a long time ago in the then American Library in Zagreb.) The Kiss looks like something from Disneyland and doesn't do justice to the photo at all.

I don't spend much time in Times Square, but I occasionally pass through on the way to somewhere else, like if I'm trying to get home on an 8th ave. train that turns out to have been rerouted, and the best solution is to get out at 42nd st. and walk to a 6th ave. train, and I've never seen that statue.

The left camera (on his right-hand side) is definitely a IIIc, but the right one is a pre-war IIIa or IIIb. Also puzzled about the lenses - he's got external (post-war) VIOOH finders for both of them, but the VIOOH covere 35-50-90-135, and both lenses are pretty small. My guess would be a 50 and a 35, but I can't really identify them closer.

For me, it was Independence Day in India (and S. Korea).

There's a Wikipedia page dedicated to the statue itself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional_Surrender_%28sculpture%29

What a horribly gaudy statue! Especially at that size. Does no one know how to work granite today? Stone would be a much better choice for replicating a B&W photo. This statue belongs in Las Vegas.

The statue is no longer at Snug Harbor on Staten Island so I guess it moves around.

The same thing happend with the " Vancouver Riot Kissing Couple" photo. Two photogs got a shot of the same couple, slightly out of phase (time) and space (location).

Mike: Great article/links. Thanks more making the day more interesting. What is specifically interesting is that when I followed the link in the earlier version of this post, I said to myself, "Hunh. The sculptor got the nurse's arm wrong. It is much more passive in the sculpture than it is in Eisie's photo." But when you look at the Jorgenson picture, you can see that the position of the nurse's arm is a much closer match. Fascinating. BTW, the Eisenstat picture still vibrates for me -- fully captures in the kissing couple the tension and joyous chaos of the moment as I imagine it. Funny how Jorgenson's picture doesn't. In my eyes, Jorgenson's snap just a picture.

Ben Marks

I do think the Eisenstadt picture is the better of the pair. In the Jorgenson, the sailor's arm obscures the action and all of the girl's face, among other issues. I also think that showing them full length, and showing more of the background (Eisenstadt's photo) is better. I wish we had detailed tracks of both photographers through the crowd there; I wonder if they both shot from where they were, or if one or both went to where he thought the best shot was? Or maybe (are the Eisenstadt negatives seeable?) shot once from where they were just in case and THEN moved to where they thought it would be best?

BUT. If the photos were swapped,I'd strongly predict that either the photo wouldn't be famous, or else it would be the Eisenstadt version in that alternate world (i.e. the image taken by Jorgenson in this world) that was famous.

That is, I highly doubt that we can view this as an example of the better photo winning in any sort of real competition between them. Eisenstadt was a famous photojournalist, he sent his rolls right to one of the most prominent publications around.

Now, one could argue that it is by consistently producing better photos that you acquire that prominent a position. I'd like to think that's true.

We do know that Eisie was moving along ahead of the sailor, watching him kiss every female he encountered. He took multiple shots of him, and even decided beforehand to wait for a woman dressed in white to contrast with the dark (blue) uniform the sailor wore. I wasn't even aware of the Jorgensen photo, so I have no idea if his was a grab shot or what. No pun intended.

What I do dispute is whether the Jorgensen shot would have been famous if Eisie had taken it and submitted it to LIFE. I really don't think so. First of all I'm not sure it would have made the magazine, and I don't think it captures the gesture nearly as well (you need to see her feet), it doesn't capture the sense of place, and lastly I just don't think it has the same sense of celebratory joie de vivre that the real Eisie photo does. This is just a mind exercise--there can be no knowing--but I doubt very much it was just a case of who the photographer was and what magazine he was affiliated with.

For an interesting take on this issue, see Michael Carlbach's discussion of the Hindenburg disaster in American Photojournalism Comes of Age (an indispensable book), p. 190 ff.



I think your comment re feet nails the difference particularly well. I hadn't thought of that. My view was that Eisie shot just a heartbeat later (the hug/kiss had been better transmitted to the nurse, just a little more response) and his angle was clearly better. I wasn't aware that Eisie was working the sailor as he worked the women - thus his angle and cropping (or greater distance) was not chance.

Thanks for the lesson in seeing.


Those of you in the S Jersey, Philadelphia area can find a whole garden of Seward Johnson sculptures at 'grounds for sculpture' http://www.groundsforsculpture.org/
in Trenton. Definitely worth a visit, esp when weather is good!
And the restaurant is quite good, also.
Bob F

Mike, I'd lean towards agreeing that the Jorgenson photo wouldn't be famous if it had been sent in as part of Eisenstadt's take. I'm just not willing to completely rule it out; hence my "either the photo wouldn't be famous, or...".

Is the work of the great photographers of the 20th Century who were photojournalists about to be forgotten?
There's no longer "Life," "Look," etc magazines to display them.
W. Eugene Smith,
Lots of others, whose names escape me right now, as well as many "one-hit" workers.

The statue is, in my opinion, a complete miss. It saddens me because, obviously, considerable time, effort, and money went into it, and, because the photograph it is based on may be one of the best models ever presented for a memorial sculpture. In looking at the photo, once you get past the magnificent feminine presence of the young lady, the size of the sailors hands present a perfect match as an example of masculinity-what an opportunity for a talented,serious sculptor. the giant, plastic looking, model captures none of spirit of the moment........makes it seem cartoonish.

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