Salvador Dali. Metamorphosis of Narcissus (1937)
"Narcissist daffodils… In Greek mythology Narcissus was a womaniser, and a vein one at that, so the Gods punished him with his own reflection in a lake. He fell in love with himself, and died of frustration. Taking pity, the Gods immortalised him as a daffodil. Dali’s hallucinatory painting shows the boy kneeling in a pool, mirrored by the hand holding the egg and flower."
The egg is symbolic, being regarded as the "perfect form" by many artists. This obsession with perfection and idealism is approached in this piece by Dali. The title "Metamorphosis of Narcissus", made me consider the concept of transforming perfection. I then associated this concept with Christo and Jeanne-Claude's series of wrapping objects and landscapes, as well as Judith Scotts transformations of wrapping objects in yarn and fabric. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have claimed to use the method for strictly aesthetic reasons and Scotts reasons relied on the personal desire for artistic expression. This simple technique, allows the onlooker to carefully reflect on the object being shaded. This concept of shading in order to uncover and reflect on what lies beneath is a complimentary duality, which interests me as the duality of normality and difference is something I wish to equalise.
Additionally, the concept of normality is an illusion. How can anyone be normal if people are individually unique also? Therefore, no-one is truly normal but really what is common has been deemed normal. Those that exist outside that common article are deemed the opposite of normal, different. This duality, causes those deemed different to be categorised into a small box, meant to feel negative for being outside the normal spectrum of humanity. This relationship, along with the concept of wrapping materials, made me consider the art works I created involving the wooden box and wrapped objects.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Wrapped Snoopy House, 1978.
Judith Scott. Untitled, 2000-2; 30 by 32 by 16 inches. All works are made from fiber, wood, cardboard, and fabric. Photos courtesy of the Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, California. Image: Fiberarts Summer 2001