The huge graffiti, romantically named as the ‘World begins with every Kiss’, was unveiled in 2014, in Plaça d’Isidre Nonell, Barcelona in Spain. Concealed in a tiny square in the winding threads of the old town, a few steps from the cathedral, the kiss springs out of nowhere. From a distance it looks like just another large abstract mosaic in shades of rose, blending quietly with the surrounding old city. However, with the decrease of distance, the image begins to emerge, the image of a kissing couple.
A plaque, next to the mural, quotes Oliver Wendell Holmes: The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.
Joan Fontcuberta, a Catalan photographer, requested the readers of El Perodico, a local newspaper, to send him photographs of their own moments of freedom. With the help of ceramicist Toni Cumella, he printed 4,000 of those personal snaps onto mosaic tiles.
In other words, each tile is printed with a photograph of a person, a place, a special moment, an event or anything which in any way represents an expression freedom. The tiles were then arranged according to their colour and density to create the huge mural depicting a kissing couple.
The romantic mural, measuring 8m x 3.8m, was unveiled in 2014, as a temporary exhibition, as a part of the 300th anniversary of 11 September 1714, a day known as Catalonia Day, or La Diada, commemorating the fall of Barcelona against the Castilian troops or the Catalan surrender in the War of Spanish Succession. Though they lost, they had undergone 14 months of siege and that particular day is a tribute to the Catalan lives lost, to regional identity, and to freedom. Despite defeat, Joan Fontcuberta did not want to create another Wailing Wall, but a wall of joy and optimism for the future.
The kiss, depicted in the World begins with every Kiss, is a symbol of affection, empathy and liberty and the local government felt so poignant about the mural that they never took it down, though it was meant for a temporary exhibition.