Kissing the Face of God
by Brian Keith and Morgan Weistling
Sculptor Brian Keith brings breathtaking three-dimensional life into Morgan Weistling’s Kissing the Face of God. We can easily relate to the wonder of the bond between a mother and child, but can only “imagine” what it would be like to embrace the baby Jesus. This beautiful bronze reminds us that sometimes a complicated leap of faith is as simple as a kiss.
Morgan Weistling didn’t think twice about who would create the first bronze of one of his most important and popular works, sculptor Brian Keith. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Brian served a modern day apprenticeship under Morgan. “A program such as this is going to be judged by the quality of your first effort. You don’t get a second chance. Kissing the Face of God relies on and is so successful because it captures that tender interaction between a mother and her child. The bronze has to convey this delicate relationship and I think Brian has done a spectacular job in doing so.”
This work will disappear quickly, because it is an edition of only 50 pieces and this is the first time any of Weistling’s work has been presented in bronze. It was Brian Keith’s long relationship with Morgan that was the key factor in getting this first-ever bronze of a Weistling work off the ground. Each artist trusted the instincts of the other, working together to bring one of the most moving pieces of art from one medium to another.
“The painting was first inspired by a song that I heard one day,” relates Weistling. “Sometimes, hearing one phrase is all it takes, and then a flood of inspiration follows. The phrase “kissing the face of God” immediately struck me with this powerful image of Mary and the Baby Jesus. It is an image that we have seen depicted many times, but never simply as a mother and her child with real tenderness. I started to contemplate the awesome privilege that Mary was given, being able to hold God in her arms, but also keeping in mind that He was still her baby. This cute little child whom she bore was also God in the flesh. And yet, she cuddled and kissed Him, just as all mothers do with their babies. This thought propelled me right into this painting which I wanted to be a very human representation of divinity. My prayer is that the viewer will be struck, as I am, with the amazing way that God chose to send His Son into this world — in pure humility.”