Narcissism_ac-ced-ing Picture

nar·cis·sism (när'si-siz'em) or nar·cism (när'siz'em)
1. Excessive love or admiration of or sexual desire for one's own self or body
2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.
4. The attribute of the human psyche characterized by admiration of oneself but within normal limits.

It seems that people are becoming more and more obsessed with beauty. Society has practically forced us to do so, but before the media told us what was aesthetically pleasing, there was evidence that we had a general idea of what caught our eye.
There are those that base their perception of beauty off their own self. Take for example the origin of the Narcissus flower. Greek mythology leads us to believe that this pretty white flower was once a young, handsome man that wasted his days admiring his reflection in a near by wading pond. For this, the gods cursed him by transforming him into the beautiful white flower to forever lean over the pool of water.

In the field of psychoanalysis, Narcissism has taken on a much wider meaning, and this type of disorder is seen only as the obvious expression of more generalized conditions of the human psyche.
Freud used “narcissism” to describe conditions whereby the patient’s libido is invested in his/herself rather than in external objects. In his paper “On Narcissism”, published in 1914, he distinguished between a primary narcissism, which he described as the love of self that precedes loving others, and a secondary narcissism, a love of self, which results from interjecting and identifying with an object.
He was able to define narcissistic relationships where the environment in which object relations are absent, and where libidinal investment is withdrawn from outside activities and interests. He also observed the ego ideal and self-esteem as being narcissistic in origin.
Therefore, in psychoanalysis, narcissism came to define a whole range of positions; a perversion, a type of libidinal investment, a type of object or object choice, self-esteem, an attitude, a type of relationship to the environment and a type of personality.

This photographic concentration deals with these situations. I have tried to depict the mind-set of a person that has an obsession with his or her own image. Through the progression of photographs you’ll notice the transformation of a simple admiration, to an aggressive obsession. At times, the people in these photographic dramas will do just about anything to gratify their narcissism.


...i am the angel of your destruction
i am perversion’s secret desire...

Taken with broken mirrors to show the darker side of the obsession.
I asked Kris to really get involved with her image, to look at her reflection as if it were her lover or some one that she wanted to "put the moves on".
She goofed around a good bit, but we got some really great expressions. Somewhere in between them I got this. I felt that her “heartless stare” best suited the theme, and ultimately lead to the decision of a vertical presentation.
The hand coloring was something I experimented with after the series was completed.
Photo Oils have been around since the invention of photography (1840), and is simply applying opaque color to portions of an underlying image on a photograph as a way to create a bit of realism to black and white images. Of course, it’s a dying art form, but it still has some appeal.
Brigitte Carnochan wrote a great article on Hand-Colored Nudes in Camera Arts magazine that sheds light on the process.
The technique doesn’t really fit in well with the rest of the Narcissism concentration, but I have decided that it wouldn’t be too bad to show a little versatility as well as proceed with the series.

Continue Reading: Psyche