Narcissus / Chöd

Narcissus, self-portrait, ink on paper.
“Narcissus,” ink on paper, 2000.

Chöd, self-portrait, ink on paper.
“Chöd,” ink on paper, 2000.

My first large ink drawings. “Narcissus” is a commentary on the narcissism inherent in all self-portraits. “Chöd” is inspired by the Buddhist meditation of impermanence and death. I created both drawings from the digital photographs — I had a plastic skull in my studio at the time. I’m not sure if “Chöd” by itself reads as a vanitas without the characteristic symbols of pleasure, but it was created as a mix of western and eastern influences, and it is a companion image to “Narcissus.”

Selfless, Broken & Fixed

Selfless, oil painting
“Selfless,” oil on canvas, 2000.

Broken, underdrawing“Broken,” underdrawing, 2000.

Broken, oil painting
“Broken,” oil on canvas, 2000.

Fixed, oil painting
“Fixed,” oil on canvas, 2000.

The first self-portraits I painted at the beginning of my graduate interdisciplinary study in philosophy and art at CSULB.

“Selfless” is a self-portrait that flickers between representation and abstraction, between self and no-self.

The theme of the diptych “Broken” and “Fixed” is that of trauma and recovery, and art making as a healing process. The titles are taken from the Nine Inch Nails‘ EPs “Broken” and “Fixed” featuring songs and remixes with the cheerful titles like “Help Me I Am in Hell” and “Happiness in Slavery.” Good ol’ times!

I later created more abstract version of these paintings as a part of my graduate art research.

Vjeran Miljenović

The art blog of Vjeran Miljenović
— visual artist working in traditional and digital media.