Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Ever Decreasing Circles - Requiem for a Narcissist Approaching Middle Age


The Ever Decreasing Circles - Requiem for a Narcissist Approaching Middle Age
Thomas Sheridan
Watercolour and Ink - 2008

11 comments:

Jenny Enochsson said...

The model's resemblance to Bob Marley is striking, I think. Expressive. The theme made me think of Dardel's "Den döende dandyn" ("The Dying Dandy"):

http://www.xposeptember.se/archive/2004/galleri/k1.jpg

Even if the styles differ.

I am 34, so I guess I am middle aged too now.. Oh wells.

Thomas Sheridan said...

Never thought about the Bob Marley resemblence Jenny, but you are correct.

The image is of an ex-friend of mine who at this stage in his life decided to walk out (out of the blue) on his beautiful wife and two children leaving them devastated and in shock.

He has apparently decided he is not a rock star because of his family are holding him back - which he eagerly had at the time, and which no one forced him into having. Having the kids was his idea. So the sociopath/narcisscist feels it's just time to "move on" and make his move "before it's too late". Pathetic.

But then again, all sociopaths and narcisists are like this. Of course it'll end in failure, but even this won't make him reconsider the impact his "career move" had on the people who loved and depended on him.

Naturally he'll end up a failed drifter, depending on the extruded pity of others with invented stories of how his wife never understood him...

This drawing I did quickly as I look at him now as just a tumble weed blowing through a ghosttown of his own making. He just hasn't realised this yet and he never will even when it happens.

PO Johnson said...

Interesting, your watercolor discusses many men’s dilemma over many years. Can masculinity survive in these times? The answer depends on how you interpret masculinity. Personally, I believe that men who can’t adapt to society today quite often are sociopaths. I have met many men like these in business. They know time is running out for them, that society really doesn’t need them anymore. They are often vain and patriarchal. In fact, I personally believe that they are harmful.
I know many men in my generation (including me) born in the mid 70s who are a bit confused about what a “man” really is. Somehow I don’t really care. There are better things to consider. I’m also a human being and an animal. And I know I’m heterosexual. But otherwise it’s unimportant. Who cares?

I’m sorry if I discussed things which had nothing to do with this painting. I just got started and couldn’t stop. :) It’s a wonderful piece. I really like your provocative style. It’s impossible to look away.

Jenny Enochsson said...

Thomas, I have heard similar stories about men leaving their wives and kids because of some silly macho motive. Those people seem to be in search of quick thrills even though they passed the teenage stage long time ago. They want the world to adapt to their needs. Sad really. And even harmful, as you said, PO.

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Thomas Sheridan said...

A lot of modern mass media has destroyed people's minds in terms of their personal roles.

human being said...

love the depiction of the delimma... by the movement within and without...

and the balance...
today balance is a taboo...

Megan Duffy said...

This is a brilliant representation of a sociopath. I agree with PO, I cannot look away.

PO, your comment is so important. I think the modern man is adrift in many ways. And I think you are right, modern men who have trouble adapting to the expectations of today are often sociopaths. I happen to have a man like this for a brother. I find his life to be beautiful in its unwillingness to conform and painful in how it has made a ghost town of his heart.

Thomas Sheridan said...

I think the issue is the totalitarianism of the ego in the modern psyche.

I was reading recently about the concept of the Self Murdered Man. That being, not so much a sociopath in the traditional sense. But a formerlly non-disordered individual who kills his own self hood in order to escape feeling empathy and compassion in order to validate his ego. I see this all the time these days.

Megan Duffy said...

This definition makes a lot of sense. Perhaps for some the self-killing is also done in order to escape the overwhelming requirements of love. What ever the reason, the results are devastating.

Kass said...

Love the shattering momentum in this painting.
Certainly there were signs of this man's narcissism before his grand departure.
Great discussion here. I would love to see a whole exhibit of art inspired by narcissists. It would be strong and frightening.
There are those who would argue that the greatest accomplishments in the world were achieved by narcissists.