WHAT WOULD I GIVE TO LIVE WHERE YOU ARE. WHAT WOULD I PAY TO STAY HERE BESIDE YOU. WHAT WOULD I DO TO SEE YOU SMILING AT ME. WHERE WOULD WE WALK AND WHERE WOULD WE RUN IF WE COULD STAY ALL DAY IN THE SUN. JUST YOU AND ME AND I COULD BE A PART OF YOUR WORLD.
For centuries humanity has been captivated by the mysterious beings of the Mermaid or Sirene. A woman, and more rare cases man, half human, half ocean creature. Praised for their beauty, feared for their enchanting song that, according to legend, has lured many sailor to their untimely death. Possessing unrivaled beauty combined with a deep sadness for not being able to live their lives with other human beings.
Hans Christian Anderson wrote the famous tale of the Little Mermaid, who lived a seemingly happy life being one of the 6 daughters of Mer-King, until she turns 15. At that day, she is allowed to swim to the surface of the ocean and has a first glimpse of that fabled world inhabited by humans. Though hard to grasp the concept of an entire world existing above them, the Little Mermaid rises and when she breaks through the surface, the first thing she sees is a ship. And on that ship a group of happy people celebrating the birthday of a human prince. While staying at safe distance she witnesses a violent storm hitting the ship. Many perish but the mermaid is able to catch the unconscious prince in time and delivers him safely to the shore.
The experience has a profound effect on the young mermaid and when it takes root in her mind, she can’t shake vision of the handsome face of the prince and she desires with all her heart to see him again. Moreover, to walk the beach besides him. She learns all about humans and their differences and finds out that humans have a very short lifespan, but an eternal soul that will live on forever. Mermaid on the other hand can live for 300 years, but when they die they transform into sea foam. Making up her mind, the mermaid seeks out a sea-with who promises to help her under two conditions. She will have to sacrifice her beautiful voice and she will only obtain her eternal soul if she manages to secure the prince’s unconditional love. Moreover, she will grow legs but walking and dancing will feel like daggers piercing her feet.
Fairytales often have tragic ends and the Little Mermaid is no exception. The mermaid accepts the terms, takes the potion and transforms into a beautiful young girl. Washed up on shore the prince finds her and falls in love. Regardless of the fact the young girl is not able to speak, she becomes his closest companion. Until the prince’s parents, in order to secure the royal linage, force the prince to marry a neighboring princess. The prince does so and abandons mermaid, leaving her in great despair. She knows she will have to die. She throws herself into the sea and once her body is engulfed by the water, she transforms in seafoam.
Tragic stories are often the inspiration for beautiful works of art. Kris Micallef’s Merman is no exception to that. Kris was born in 1988 on the island of Malta and began his career in photography through his fascination with beauty and the human form. All represented in his Merman series. And maybe the fact he was raised on a beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea might also have inspired him for creating this specific set of photos. Kris graduated in Architecture and Civil Engineering in 2011 after reading for his degree at the University of Malta. His architectural background influences his photographs - order, geometry, light and beauty are keywords synonymous with Kris’ photography. Kris excels in both fine art photography as well as commercial photography having a particular interest in the world of fashion. His works have been published in various magazines in Europe, the Middle East and also the United States. And he has also sees his work being exposed –in various international exhibitions.
The story of the Little mermaid doesn’t end all that tragic actually. Yes, the young girl dies according to mermaid laws of nature, but only to realize that there is in fact another plain of existence. While dissolving into foam, she feels the warm sun and discovers that she has turned into a luminous and ethereal earthbound spirit, a daughter of the air. And in that form she is given the chance to earn her own soul by doing good deeds to mankind for 300 years and will one day rise up into the eternal kingdom. The moral of this ancient story is about choice. It’s about growing up and not giving in the social pressures and expectations but to choose to live your life the way you want it. And, no matter how things turn out, to never look back and never regret the choices you made. –BM-
KRIS MICALLEF | BEAUTIFULMAG