description of Narkissos by Jess

This graphite collage drawing, which measures almost six feet tall and five feet wide, is epic in scope and detail. The piece is blanketed with dozens of intricate, allegorical drawings that contain scores of characters, symbols, landscapes, and patterns. The central figure is a beautiful, lithe young man who kneels, in the nude, to our left of center, gazing toward a dark pool of water. In one hand he holds what appears to be a backscratcher, and in the other he holds a Krazy Kat comic strip - while giving us the middle finger. Behind him, on a rocky peak, stands another naked young man who has black eyes, a kaleidoscope halo, and a bow and arrow. Other details include an Egyptian-style sphinx, the Hoover Dam, a hexagram, the Star of David, the Pied Piper, bees in honeycomb, apartment buildings, flocks of birds, hills with eyes, the phrase “Is Love Enough”, and a unicorn.

Jess, Narkissos, 1976-1991
Jess, Narkissos, 1976-1991; graphite and gouache on cut and pasted paper in found artist's frame, 70 in. x 60 in. (177.8 cm x 152.4 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Purchase through gifts of Phyllis C. Wattis, Elaine McKeon, Judy and John Webb, Bobbie and Michael Wilsey, Jean and Jim Douglas, Susan and Robert Green, Pat and Bill Wilson, and the Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Frances and John Bowes, Shawn and Broo; © JESS -The Jess Collins Trust
Jess, Narkissos, 1976-1991

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Narkissos
Artist name
Jess
Date created
1976-1991
Classification
drawing
Medium
graphite and gouache on cut and pasted paper in found artist's frame
Dimensions
70 in. x 60 in. (177.8 cm x 152.4 cm)
Date acquired
1996
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Purchase through gifts of Phyllis C. Wattis, Elaine McKeon, Judy and John Webb, Bobbie and Michael Wilsey, Jean and Jim Douglas, Susan and Robert Green, Pat and Bill Wilson, and the Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Frances and John Bowes, Shawn and Broo
Copyright
© JESS -The Jess Collins Trust
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/96.492
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

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