Narcissus (2012)

Oil on Canvas

Notes on Mark Alexander’s Bog Paintings

…’Can her boy live long
With such perfect beauty?’

‘Yes, unless he learns to know himself.’

-Ted Hugnes, Echo and Narcissus, Tales from Ovid(1997)

Mark Alexander’s NarcissusIn his 2012 series Ground and Unground is about us.

Narcissus knew of his outstanding quality by its affect on others, he could sense their adoration and exploited it, his hubris was accepted, and his entitlements were granted. But he didn’t know who he was until he discovered the beauty.

‘Who are you? Come out. Come up
Onto the land. I never saw beauty
To compare with yours. Oh why do you always
Dodge away at the last moment
And leave me with my arms full of nothing
But water and the memory of an image.


When asked “what would be buried under the Garden of Earthly Delights?”, Alexander thought of a wanderer lost in his way, tired and thirsty he came to a pool of water, knelt down to drink the cool liquid.

Someone told Alexander that Narcissus died by drowning, trying to reach his own reflection.


MEDIA: Oil on Canvas

SIZE: 110.5 x 92 cm


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