Narcissism is the defining pathology of the twenty-first century, but what if it is not self-obsession that defines us but a need for self-transformation?
Matt Colquhoun’s book Narcissus in Bloom is a short history of the self-portrait, beginning with Renaissance painters like Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt and Caravaggio, through to photographers and celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, Lee Friedlander and Hervé Guibert.
Matt Colquhoun is a writer and photographer from Hull, UK. They are the author of Egress: On Mourning, Melancholy and Mark Fisher (2020) and the editor of Mark Fisher’s Postcapitalist Desire: The Final Lectures (2021). They are currently based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
‘Rather than see the selfie as a sign of self-absorption, this engrossing volume understands the selfie as expressing a longing for a kind of self-transformation. Elegantly and stylishly written, this book is the best kind of cultural criticism, sweeping away the worn- out cliches of the familiar for the freshness and wonder of the truly new.’ —Jon Greenaway, author of Capitalism: A Horror Story
Part of the Books on Tyne festival