Standing taller than the viewer, Kiss is inviting rather than imposing. The abstracted forms and their delicate balancing act create an air of calm about the piece. Without facial features or, indeed, bodies, these platelet–like figures nevertheless manage to convey human feeling. The contrasting colours of the stone draw the eye into the embrace, encouraging us to intrude on this captured moment of affectionate expression. Though sculpted from granite, Lee has created a surface texture that softens the weight of the stone.
In Kiss, Lee has created a modern version of Rodin’s celebrated work of the same name. Rodin’s masterpiece had already had a wide–reaching sculptural influence since its completion in 1889, most notably in Brancusi’s Kiss, 1916. In this work, the ideals behind Rodin’s sculpture had been retained, yet the form simplified, to meet Brâncusi’s hand crafted style. Billy Lee has taken this abstraction even further and with greater economy of means, Lee has achieved the same expressive quality, conveying one of the most primal modes of human expression with subtlety and emotion whilst removing all sense of figuration from the piece.