Nail Art

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Kiss an Era Goodbye

What happens to “the Kiss guy” when Kiss ceases to be?

Virginio Mendonca memorialized the bad Kiss in these nails created in 1996 and has since become known as "the Kiss guy." The band's 1979 tour, he notes, was the first concert he was allowed to attend as a kid.
<p>Virginio Mendonca memorialized the bad Kiss in these nails created in 1996 and has since become known as "the Kiss guy." The band's 1979 tour, he notes, was the first concert he was allowed to attend as a kid.</p>

What happens to “the Kiss guy” when Kiss ceases to be? Massachusetts-based nail tech and artist Virginio Mendonca first gained notariety among his fellow techs when his design depicting the rock band Kiss placed 2nd at R.G. Shakour’s Nail Show for Nail Nuts and was subsequently featured in NAILS December 1996 issue. Mendonca became known as “the Kiss guy” and the sobriquet stuck. “Even today, people come up to me at shows and hand me the dipping from NAILS. It’s mind boggling,” he says. So as the 50-something rockers wrap up 27 years of face painting and fire breathing with a farewell tour this year, Mendonca is philosophical. “Everything comes to an end,” he says. But nail art, it seems, is forever.

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