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The elitism, commodification and commercialisation in the current contemporary art world need challenging, and Christians should be prepared to do that. Adrienne Chaplin

Nicora Gangi: Kiss the Son

ArtWay Visual Meditation November 12, 2017

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Nicora Gangi: Kiss the Son

The Lamb on his Throne

by Nicora Gangi

Kiss the Son, as Psalm 2:12 (KJV) tells us, is a command. Christ is called ‘the Son’. This was affirmed in a declaration in Psalm 2:7: ‘You are my Son.’ He is the Son of God by eternal generation, he is the Son of Man, the Mediator (John 5:27).

Our duty to Jesus is expressed figuratively: kiss the Son with a sincere affection and love. We are called to enter into a covenant of friendship with him. We are to let him be very dear and precious to us. Love him above all, love him in sincerity, love him much – just as she to whom much was forgiven and in token of this kissed his feet (Luke 7:38). We are not to do this with a betraying kiss, as Judas kissed him as well as hypocrites. We are to kiss him with a believing heart. Kissing is an action of agreement and reconciliation. If we do this, we understand that the quarrel between God and us has terminated and the act of hostility ceased. 

In this paper-collage triptych the concept of worship, man’s rebellion or obedience to God, is illustrated three times. The left panel illustrates the worship of all other gods but the God of Heaven and his Son. The golden calf (Exodus 32) is an archetype of all man-made idols. The calf is perched on top of the heap of man’s golden calves: technology, humans, animals, food, money, cities, power, land, etc.

The right panel contrasts the left panel. The white lamb and a gold lion stand at the pinnacle of a swirling form of golden water: The Water of Life, pure, alive and active.

The upper part of the central panel illustrates heaven, the powerful brilliant light from the Trinity – a repartee on ‘Sun/Son’. This physical sun will no longer be needed in the New Jerusalem. Included in this Trinitarian image is the firm statement that the Lord will rule the generations with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:9).

Below this brilliance is a display of hell. These snakelike forms represent the serpent of old. He is the one who deceived Adam and Eve (Genesis 3), plummeting all of mankind into alienation from God, which is actualized in the death and decay of the body. At the very bottom of the center panel is the city of destruction: those who give the Son the betrayer’s kiss will dwell there in perpetual fire and separation from God. For those who kiss the Son, God is victorious over this inevitable and nightmarish end.

Let us be at peace with God in Christ, who is our Peace. He is the Lamb, he sits on his throne, he reigns forever (Revelation 5:9-13, 19:6).

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Nicora Gangi: Kiss the Son, Psalm 2:12, paper collage, 21” x 33”.

Nicora Gangi was educated at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA (BFA 1974 and MFA 1976). She was a Professor of Art at Syracuse University for 29 years. Gangi has been awarded many Grand Prize and First Place awards and grants including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award. She has been and continues to be published in numerous artist books on pastel paintings. She has lectured regionally and nationally as a visiting artist at universities and artist’s guilds. She is represented in the USA by: MME Fine Art, New York, NY; Bender Gallery, Asheville, NC; LM Gallery, Saratoga, WY. http://nicoragangi.com

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ON THE WEBSITE   NEW ON THE WEBSITE   NEWS

1. FILMS - Audacity of Christian Art: The Problem of Painting Christ (National Gallery Films), episode 6: So near and yet so far: visions and thresholds. Part of the challenge of depicting Christ lies in showing his ‘visibility’ as a man who lived on earth, while also indicating the ‘invisibility’ of God eternal.  This episode looks at ‘The Virgin and Child with Two Angels’ by Andrea del Verrocchio and Lorenzo di Credi (around 1476–8) and ‘The Vision of the Blessed Gabrielle’ by Carlo Crivelli (probably about 1489), and considers the pictorial device of the ‘threshold’ as a visual response to the simultaneous proximity of divine presence and the utter transcendence of God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTOWDhA_I9U&index=7&list=PLvb2y26xK6Y586x-Sh-9EPASCo8ZGsHja Previous episodes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oVUGvvzAoM&list=PLvb2y26xK6Y586x-Sh-9EPASCo8ZGsHja The final episode will be released next week and the films will remain online as a permanent resource. N.B. These films are shot in very high resolution to show the details of the paintings and are best viewed in ‘full screen’ mode.

2. THE NETHERLANDS – The latest newsletter of Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) features the official launch of the Centre for Religion and Heritage at the University of Groningen. Professor Todd Weir addressed the urgently pressing need for a scholarly focus on the issue of religious heritage in the Netherlands. On 25 October the Centre for Religion and Heritage (CRH) of the University of Groningen was officially launched with the participation of F.J. Paas, the King’s Commissioner in Groningen. Read more

3. “The Medici’s Painter Carlo Dolci and 17th-century Florence” is on view until Jan. 14, 2018 in the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. What came after: The Counter-Reformation art of Carlo Dolci. The deeply Catholic Baroque master, a favorite of the Medici banking dynasty, is considered one of the finest Italian painters of the 17th century. His works are also a reminder of a visual vocabulary of Catholic art many modern viewers no longer recognize. Read more

For more exhibitions, lectures, conferences etc. inside and outside your country, click here

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Other recent meditations:
- November 2017: Per Kirkeby: Windows Gentofte Church (Denmark)
- November 2017: Pulpit by Lucas Cranach the Elder
- October 2017: Sandra Bowden: Reformation Altarpiece
- October 2017: Nicholas Evans: Entombed – Jesus in the Midst

For more Visual Meditations, see under Artists