Narcissus

In this series, I feature images of the classical Greek figure, Narcissus, as well as the flower of the same name. I explore the darker aspects of self-love and its manifestations in personal and political life. Does self-infatuation and an obsession with status lead to an inability to empathize or truly love others?

Nike I & II
In these series, I was inspired by the Greek goddess of Victory, as embodied in the classical statue, Winged Victory of Samothrace. The approach of victory can be palpable, exhilarating, and yet, ultimately, illusory. Darkness can be mistaken for light and light for darkness; winning doesn’t always end in victory.

Empire
As nationalism has reasserted itself around the world, I find myself doubting things that I have always taken for granted.  History never repeats itself identically, but patterns seem to re-emerge, and sometimes, countries choose to once again play a role in which they were previously cast. Russia – or at least its leader – seems determined to reprise its Tsarist role - as an authoritarian, xenophobic empire.

 

Is America – or at least its leader – being led away from its historical role as a defender of democracy and freedom?

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While most of the national symbols featured in this series are well known, the Ballet Russe dancer may be more obscure. She represents a more avant-garde, open and tolerant movement from Russia - a symbol of hope that may yet return.

Dance & Movement

In these images, I explore the beauty and ephemera of movement, from the effortless play and dancing of leaves, to the lithe elegance and gestural grace of ballet.

Borderlines & Butterflies

Some of these works remind us of the cruelty of the intentional separation of families crossing the southern U.S. border.

 

Others examine the intricate, fragile glory of butterflies, creatures threatened by climate change, which are plain in youth, beautiful in old age, and fly carefree across every man-made border.

© 2020 by  Joanne Simon