The Rebirth of Narcissus

This poster was created within a larger body of work in which I spent ten weeks making one poster every week, based on a topic given to me by a four-year-old. The topic for this week was “chicken”. I began brainstorming and of course what comes to mind other than the generic chicken and egg scenario--which came first? Lame.

I know eggs commonly symbolize rebirth and thought about the painting The Metamorphosis of Narcissus by one of my favorites: Dali. A small narcissus flower is being birthed from an egg, referring to the Greek myth of Narcissus, the hunter who fell in love with the image of himself in his reflection in a river. He stared at himself in the water, not knowing it was just a reflection, frozen in that trance until he died. He was then reincarnated by the gods into the narcissus flower, for a new chance at life.

I was intrigued by the idea of how he fell so in love with his own image, and I drew a parallel to this within the lives of so many of us today, especially in the United States.

The human race is in love with itself. We idolize fame, our gods more real than ever before, millimeters away from our fingertips, never within reach. And we so crave to be viewed in such a way. And so we become our own gods through new technology, we create shrines for ourselves online to track our greatest accomplishments and most beautiful moments, physically, emotionally, or intellectually. But alas, very few people ever make it to that point of full admiration by an invisible audience; instead living within these fabricated temples under a single sided guise admitting to nothing that would damage our self made image. We become our own worshipper, staring so deeply into the reflection of our screens, unable to break away, seeping into the mold of Narcissus.

Within the poster lies a life cycle.

It begins with a black and white image of someone cracking eggs by hand, the original birth. This is stage one, it represents our literal birth. Stage two occurs with the influence of new technology. This can be seen in the color image of the egg cracking device. This is our first rebirth, the appearance of technologies to allow us to portray ourselves in celestial perfection, while also opening the gates of narcissism and self-obsession. However, stage three, the chicken birthing the Dali egg, addresses the slight departure by some towards a second rebirth. Separation from these shrines we have built, and placing less value in the opinions of others.