NARKISSOS , BETTER KNOWN AS NARCISSUS WAS A YOUNG MAN WHO LIVED IN THE TOWN OF THESPIAI IN BOIOTIA. BORN A SON OF THE RIVER-GOD CEPHISUS AND THE FOUNTAIN-NYMPH LIRIOPE, NARCISSUS WAS BLESSED WITH AN UNEARTHLY BEAUTY. BUT AS IT IS OFTEN THE CASE, GREAT GIFTS COME WITH GREAT RESPONSIBILITIES. IN NARCISSUS CASE HE WAS SO CONSCIOUS ABOUT HIS OWN PHYSICAL BEAUTY AND CHARM, ATTRACTING MANY ADMIRES, THAT HE BECAME ARROGANT AND SELF-CENTERED, HE SPURNED THEM ALL. AND IS WAS THIS BEHAVIOUR THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY MEAN THE DOWNFALL OF THE HANDSOME YOUTH.
The nymph Echo was a girl cursed by goddess Hera to repeat only the last words of what was said. Unable to help yourself she became enchanted by Narcissus beauty and charm, but like many others he rejected her, thinking her not worthy. The poor girls was so hurt she slowly faded away in despair, leaving behind only her echoing voice. But Narcissus real downfall was caused by Ameinias. The young man, Ameinias was in love with Narcissus, but he too, like so many before him, was rejected by the handsome young man. Instead of embracing and respecting the love he was offered Narcissus grew tired of Ameinias' affections and sent him a present of a sword. The message was clear. Ameinias killed himself with the sword in front of Narcissus' door but as he died, he called on the goddess Nemesis to avenge him. His prayer was answered when one day Narcissus one day saw his onw reflection in a still pool. Captured by the perfect beauty he saw, he fell in love with his own reflection, unable to turn his gaze away. Staring endlessly at his own image, Narcissus finally came to understand the magnetic power his beauty had on others. Filled with remorse, he killed himself besides the pool and from his dying life’s blood a flower was born, to grow on Earth for eternity, always with its head bent down as in shame. Or maybe in search from its own reflection.
Kevin D. Hoover lives in Brooklyn, NYC, in an apartment that also functions as his studio. It is here, mostly in this studio, where he creates images of some of the most beautiful male bodies you have ever seen, always provocative, always with class. Images that have resulted in a growing following of his art. And not just online. His photo book PROVOCATION: Volume 1 has been a bestseller in its genre and is currently also available in e-book format. Currently Kevin is putting the finishing touches on his second coffee table book titles PROVOCATION: Volume 2. His Narcissus series are part of this book and therefor a unique publication as they have not yet been seen before.
The fact Kevin D. Hoover uses his own apartment as his studio is a great plus in creating the intimate atmosphere his images are so known for. “When they first arrive, I sit and talk to them to get a feel for who they are as a person,” Kevin explains about his way of working. “Contrary to conventional wisdom, models are indeed people...LOL. I have them bring their iPod so we can listen to their music. That really helps to set the right mood. I let them know up front that if they start to feel tired or if I've suggested something that makes them feel uncomfortable, tell me and we'll pause. I'm very protective of my guys and they feel it. Knowing that they can trust me allows them to let their guard down easily. My set is very laid back. Music, laughter and capturing great images.”
Being at ease is an absolute must if you want to create intimate and provocative images such as Narcissus. Already the theme of the story is not a most positive one and putting yourself in the character of Narcissus not that easy. Kevin decided to take this cautionary tale and turn it into something positive: “There is so much self-hatred in the world. The idea behind my Narcissus series is to have my guys positioned in front of the mirror, and really look at themselves. Not just at their surface beauty, as the original Narcissus did, but to really look at themselves. Be alone with themselves and their reflection. Then, fall in love and in lust with that person they see. This is a small sample of what I was able to capture.” –BM-
KEVIN D. HOOVER | BEAUTIFULMAG