The myth of Narcissus is a story of a man so in love with his own image he rejected the love of all others, ultimately leading to his demise. In the age of the internet and mobile photography, Gregory Eddi Jones utilizes the “selfie” imagetype as a contemporary manifestation of this myth, and uncovers the deeper social politics and interpretations of this common contemporary media trope.
Narcissi is a series of appropriated and manipulated images that engage in direct conversation with Caravaggio’s painting Narcissus (1597-1599), and updates the visualization of the Narcissus myth for our current digital age. These original images are sourced from Tumblr erotica blogs that share submitted and found selfies of nude men in their bathroom mirrors. Selected images are re-authored through digital processes as pastiche of Caravaggio’s pioneering tenebrism techniques, and establish a direct line of visual dialogue and interpretation that bridges four centuries.
In Narcissi, as in many of our daily activities, the smartphone acts as a mobile reflection pond through which we gaze at ourselves, and a virtual space we cannot tear ourselves away from. The act of uploading selfies to the internet invites web users around the world to gaze with us, and creates a participatory realization of the myth through social media mechanisms of “likes” “comments”, and “shares,” which function as an exchange of social currency. Through these actions, we seek to build wealth in admiration, popularity, and recognition, and seek affirmations of love and desire in their many forms. Narcissi highlights the act of “taking a selfie” as the occupying a vanguard position in the evolution of notions of the gaze in modern media.
Giclée prints on Moab Lasal Photo Gloss. 40in x 32in, 28in x 22in
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