Katherine Ace, Rachael Allen, Paul Aponte, Chris Bennett, Jason Berlin, Becca Bernstein, Horia Bobia, G Lewis Clevenger, Palma Corral, Matthew Cosby, Laurie Danial, Nancy Dasenbrock, Sarah Gottesdiener, Matthew Haggett, Ian Henderson, Hector Hernandez, Bobby Jones, Edward Juan, Ann Kendellen, Andrew Klaus, Gabriel Liston, Rae Mahaffey, Brent Marr, Cynthia Mosser, Noah Nakell, Mark Randall, Megan Scheminske, Gwenn Seemel, Abi Spring, Sushuma, Darrell Williamson, Carol Yarrow.
Statement “A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator the smaller the fraction.” - Leo Tolstoy
Is it really possible to feed the ego?
I’m a difficult subject. The whole notion of posing really makes me uncomfortable, silly. In years past I’ve referred to myself as ‘an acquired taste’ to potential suitors– often allowing adequate time for pause. As a maker I’m almost exclusively behind the lens of the camera, often shooting the inanimate — poised outside the frame. Though this frame is self-defined. Perhaps pieces of my personality may surface in the work over time, but the viewer would have to be a master decoder to decrypt my soul as its ticking.
“If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.” - Andy Warhol
The reluctant subject: In this piece it was hard to initially imagine dozens of images of myself made by the hands of fellow artists, all to be hung staring out into a single space. If anything this project is something of an inversion on the subject, or rather, an anti-self-portrait — less about me the person, less about the history of portraiture on the grande scale and more about all its supple implications. But there’s a baseline here, one of absurdity and of allowance — and my penchant to allow certain curatorial sensibilities to take over guiding this course to search and find a more critical role (super-ego) to unleash such a dialogue. And for this I’m honored that a large handful of artists were willing to create portraits of me to be shown collectively, to breathe a collective voice (or sigh as it were). And if I told you the thought of seeing these amassed will make me blush would you believe me?
“The higher we soar, the smaller we seem to those who cannot fly.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
Did you know that the possible derivation for the word narcissus could mean sleep or numbness? There is a lot of myth and fallacy around what constitutes ones ego, in particular the artist’s ego. It is from the deep self in which one projects the core of their being through a physical/tangible medium. It’s the impression of others that becomes the public eye. Through the history of the artists’ gaze many have been portrayed in their best light, classically commissioned for court portraiture. But this idealism speaks as loudly as the flat surface. You cannot buy your own self image, it’s often handed back to you, and not always on a platter.
“There used to be a me behind the mask, but I had it surgically removed.” - Peter Sellers
Over the last three decades of studio work I have discovered that there is this innate sense to just let fate take place, and allow the self to be substituted for outside intervention. To let things dry and meld with the elements. What I am most interested in emerging in ‘Spread Ego’ is a sense of letting go of my own image to a sense of trust, acceptance, perspective and gaze. In these works artists are fully allowed license to fill certain gaps, flaws included. As I age my body changes and things find settle and disruption. ‘Spread Ego’ incites and embraces that change. It reminds me of the posturing in the Grace Jones song “I’m Not Perfect, But I’m Perfect For You”. A time-based reality check.
Bio Over the last three decades of studio work Norris has discovered that there is this innate sense to just let fate take place, and allow the self to be substituted for outside intervention. To let things dry and meld with the elements. What he is most interested in emerging in ‘Spread Ego’ is a sense of letting go of his own image to a sense of trust, acceptance, perspective and gaze. In these works artists are fully allowed license to fill certain gaps, flaws included.