Blue Reincarnation Narcissus Oil painting by Jaisini by Ellen Yustas Kotz-Gottlieb
In the myth of Narcissus a youth gazes into the pool. As the story goes, Narcissus came to the spring or the pool and when his form was seen by him in the water, he drowned among the water-nymphs because he desired to make love to his own image.
Maybe the new Narcissus, as in “Blue Reincarnation,” is destined to survive
Narcissus is destined to survive by simply changing his role from a passive man to an aggressive woman and so on. To this can be added that, eventually, a man creates a woman whom he loves out of himself or a woman creates a man and loves her own image but in the male form. B raises the problem of conflating ideal actual and the issue of the feminine manhood and masculine femininity. B creates a remarkable and complex psychopathology of the lost, the desired, and the imagined. Instead of the self, Narcissus loves and becomes a heterogeneous sublimation of the self.The key dynamic in B is the circulation of the legend that does not end and is reincarnated in transformation when autoeroticism is not permanent and is not single by definition.In B, we risk being lost in the double reflection of a mirror and never being able to define on which side of the mirror Narcissus is. The picture’s color is not a true color of spring water. Paul Jaisini realizes the harmony in the most exotic color combination.Recall the spectacular color of night sky deranged by a vision of some fierce fireball. The disturbance of colors creates some powerful and awe-inspiring beauty. In the picture’s background, we find the animals’ silhouettes, which could be a memory reflection or dream fragments. Captivated by his own beauty, the hunter sheds a radiance that, one presumes, reflects to haunt and foster his desire. The flaming color of the picture’s Narcissus alludes to the erotic implications of the story and its unresolved problem of the one who desires his own self and is trapped in the erotic delirium.
Narcissus could epitomize artistic aspiration to control levels of reality and imagination, to align the competition of art and life, of image with imaginable prototype. B is a unique work that adjoins reflection to reality without any instrumentality. “Blue” is a single composition that depicts the reality and its immediate reflection. Paul Jaisini builds the dynamics of desire between Narcissus and his reflection-of-the-opposite by giving him the signs of both sexes, but not for the purpose of creating a hermaphrodite. The case of multiple deceptions in “Blue” seems to be vital to the cycle of desire. Somehow it reminds one of the fates of the artists and their desperate attempts to evoke and invent the nonexistent.
“Blue” is a completely alien picture to Paul Jaisini’s “Reincarnation” series. The pictures of this series are painted on a plain ground of canvas that produces the effect of free space filled with air. “Blue,” to the contrary, is reminiscent of an underwater lack of air; the symbolism of this picture’s texture and color contributes to the mirage of reincarnation.
Ellen Yustas K Gottlieb is a novelist who writes occasionally art reviews. She writes only about art that inspires her. While not working on a novel she finds it quite captivating to work with artists. She was educated in classical music and visual art.