I am a closet chocoholic. As a child, my mother once caught me stealing a chocolate candy bar from the kitchen cabinet; and as punishment, she forced fed me the entire package. I loved it. Most people would have been repulsed by the idea of having to consume an entire package of candy bars, let alone having them shoved in your mouth by your own mother as a form of punishment - not me. To this day I eat chocolate daily; and so the creation of this work was, in part, a pure personal satisfaction.
Perhaps is sounds too cliché, but I adore my wife. We’ve been married for over eight years now; and, while her looks may not earn her the title of “world’s top supermodel”, and she might not be considered a genius by others, nor could it be said that we always agree on every thing, I consider her the love of my life. As circumstances would have it, we found ourselves living and working in two distant states last year. The hassle of flying, let alone the cost, prohibited us from seeing each other with any frequency. I missed her dearly. I missed her companionship; and, more than anything, I missed her affection.
I conceived of this work as a form of honoring that adoration and as a kind of ritual prayer in hopes that our lives would soon be reunited. I began painting a single Kiss each day for every day I was apart from my wife. I considered them surrogates for the actual kisses that I would have otherwise given to her in person. After completing the painting, I would say a prayer for our reunion and proceed to consume each kiss, both as a substitute for her returned affection and as a form of host. At some point, the joy of painting the Kisses superseded the intended purpose of the project, as did the pleasure of eating the candy.
Craig has a BFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and a MFA from The University of Arizona. He lives in Tucson, Arizona and teaches at the New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. His works are in numerous private and public collections, including the Boise Museum of Art and the Tucson Museum of Art.