I'm so excited to announce my latest painting, The Kiss of Consecration. This painting has been forming for the last 4 years with the first sketches being scribbled all the way back in 2019. I've kept it in mind since then and I finally got back to working on the composition earlier this year. This is the largest painting I've done to date at 42x60 inches and is the first painting I've built totally from scratch - making stretcher bars, stretching the linen, and building an arched tabernacle frame to match. I'll share more pictures of the framed work once its hanging in the gallery next week for the opening of Capturing Realism Caribbean! Until then, let me tell you a little about the painting:
The Kiss of Consecration is a dramatic contemporary interpretation of Joan of Arc’s vision of St. Michael, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine instructing her to defend the French countryside from the invading English.
The central figures are intentionally anachronistic, with modern hair and tattoos alluding to the contemporary narrative, and the composition ambiguous. The wings that embrace them seem to simultaneously come from both characters and Joan of Arc wears a halo rather than the figure she believes to be Saint Michael. He materializes behind her, his full form obscured, whispering intimately into her ear and arming her with an allusion to St. Michael’s flaming sword. His titular kiss is reminiscent of Judas’ kiss, the kiss of death, indicative of his sinister nature. He is a representation of the religious ideology that compelled Joan to take up arms, and of the church who burned her at the stake then later claimed her as a saint.
Saint Margaret and Saint Catherine look on in trepidation with Joan’s armor and battle standard, knowing that she is doomed to the same fate they suffered. Historically, all three women died young as martyrs of the church. Three nearby ravens appear as omens of their death. Notably, the models chosen for the three figures are of different nationalities - Dominican, Mexican, and American - suggesting that the message of the painting is globally broad.
Thank you to the art models: Kelsey Rubenking, Zach Miller, Luz Sahira Rosario, and Karla Rebolledo Moset!