Bringing a modern twist to the medieval depictions of The Last Judgment and religious triptychs, Nicora Gangi responds to Psalm 2:12 through collage.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
“Kiss the Son,” as it is used in this section of Holy Script is a command. Elsewhere in Scripture, Christ is called “the Son;” a statement supported with a declaration made earlier in this Second Psalm: “You are my Son” (v 7). Christ is the Son of God by eternal generation. He is the Son of Man and our mediator, (John 5:27). Our duty to Jesus is expressed figuratively: to “Kiss the Son” with a sincere affection and love.
We are called to enter into a covenant of friendship with Christ. We are to let Him be dear and precious to us: to love Him above all, to love Him in sincerity, to love Him much. We are to be as the woman to whom much was forgiven and, in token of this, adorned His feet with kisses (Luke 7:36-50). We are not to anoint Him with a betraying kiss, as Judas kissed him, as all hypocrites do. We are to kiss Him with a believing heart.
“Kiss Him.” This action is one of agreement and reconciliation. If we do this we understand that the quarrel between God and us has terminated -- the act of hostility ceased.
In this paper collage triptych the concept of worship and man’s rebellion against 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 Jesus Christ. The golden calf from Exodus 32 is archetype to all human-made idols. In my work, it is perched on top of the mountainous heap of humanity’s various ‘golden calves’: technology, humans, animals, food, money, cities, power, land, etc. This panel is in contrast to the far right panel.
In the far right panel, the pure white lamb and golden lion rest amongst the pinnacle of the swirling form of golden water. This water is the third Person in the Trinity: the Holy Spirit, the Water of Life. Pure, alive and active.
The upper part of the central panel represents Heaven, featuring the powerful, brilliant light from the Trinity and a repartee on sun/son since the physical sun will no longer be needed in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:23-25). Included in this Trinitarian image is the firm statement that the Lord will rule the generations with power and authority (Psalm 2:9). Below this brilliance is a display of Hell. The snake-like forms represent the Serpent of Old -- the one who deceived Adam and Eve whose resulting actions plummeted all of humanity into an alienation from God (Genesis 3) that we see actualized in death and the decay of the body. At the very bottom of the center panel is the City of Destruction where those who give the Son the betrayer’s kiss will dwell in perpetual fire and separation from God forever. Yet, for those who “Kiss the Son” with love, God is victorious over this inevitable and nightmarish end.
So, let us be at peace with God in Christ who is our Peace.
He is also our LORD and we are to worship Him (Psalm 45:1).
He is the Lamb, He sits on His throne, He Reigns forever (Rev. 5:9-13, 19:6).
Amen, amen, amen.
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. She has been and continues to be published in numerous artist’s books on pastel paintings. She has lectured regionally and nationally as a visiting artist at universities and artist’s guilds. She is represented by: Edgewood Gallery (Syracuse, NY), and Gangi Studio (Winter Garden, FL).