New York City based profit, BOFFO, provided a fresh take on portraiture this weekend with its annual spring benefit, the Narcissists Ball. This year, the public arts organization paired with Interview magazine to throw The Narcissists Ball. Rather than simply purchase an existing piece of work, bidders had the rare opportunity to commission a portrait from over 40 artists. The results ranged in medium and concept, but all the artists breathed new light into the art of the commissioned portrait.
Mary Ellen Carroll will be creating a portrait by acting as the winner’s doppelgänger for a day, going to work, having drinks, and running errands in their place. Daniel Arsham will destroy an object the winner loves and cast it in a new material. The final sculpture will act as the portrait. Caraballo-Farman will be making a medical portrait of the winning bidder, and Jennifer Sullivan will be using the personal ephemera of the winner to create their portrait. Olek, who also had a performance art piece at the ball, will be exchanging text messages with the winner and create a portrait based off their correspondence.
The event was inspired by the Oscar Wilde quote “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” and we can’t help but imagine Wilde smiling smugly at the inspired blend of self-love and altruism that The Narcissists Ball provided.
All photos by Paul Bruinooge.