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Libido and Mortido Portrait #61, 2017

Libido and Mortido Portrait #61, 2017

Limited Edition of 6

Printed on Hahnemühle Paper

A label with the Edition Number, Signature and Fingerprint of the artist is attached verso

Libido and Mortido are the two powers that accompany us through life since our birth. Libido is an aspiration for creativity and art or the desire to live. But everything that moves is restricted and cannot be endless. Mortido is the power restricting libido, it is an aspiration for death or aspiration for endless life out of the bounds of the body. Throughout life one suffers these powers fighting. The inward mortido destroys the libido, so it is destructive and self-destructive.

Sabina Spielrein speaks of aspiration for death as the primitive instinct of human beings. Nevertheless, we cannot regard libido and mortido as fighting antitheses. They are more like dialectical opposites interpenetrating each other. The individual sense the interaction of these two powers and being influenced by their interaction tries to find some balance inside to preserve oneself. And while the inward mortido causes destructive changes in the personality, that is the process of destroying the personality, the libido directed to the self leads to the cognition of one’s true self.

In the photographs, the nude figure of a woman is used as a symbol, as a reflection of the human consciousness being at the boundary of the two concepts of creation and destruction. It is a woman’s figure that is depicted because it is associated with the concept of the Anima introduced by the psychologist Jung. It implies the feminine archetype that is the influence of emotions, moods, and inwardness. The masculine archetype, the Animus, is characterized by outwardness and tough overriding decisions.

In the techniques, George Mayer makes use of the experience of such great experimentalists as František Drtikol, Erwin Blumenfeld and Victor Skrebneski. Through the use of contrasting light and shadows, He shows the two antitheses coexisting in human consciousness. And the fighting of these two antitheses is shown through the use of optical deflections.

All lighting effects are achieved in the photo studio using only lighting equipment. Digital image processing was not utilized.


39.37 × 27.55 in (99.99 x 69.97 cm)


Includes COA by the Artist as well as LIGHTWORKS


In 2017, the famous Libido & Mortido photography series received the first-ever grant for photo projects from Sony and World Photography Organization. In April 2018, the presentation of the photography series was held at Somerset House in London, where it received numerous positive reviews from journalists and critics.

Some portraits from the series were exhibited in Paris as part of the Paris Photo OFF 2018 and in Arles as part of the Voies off Festival 2018. The solo exhibitions were successfully held in Kyiv at Chicago Central House as part of the Photo Kyiv Fair 2018 and in Moscow at VS Unio Gallery.

Some of the project photos were published in European magazines for professional photographers. Also, portraits from the series have won some competitions, including the International Photography Awards held annually at Carnegie Hall, New York.

When creating this photo project, no post-processing and editing were used. All lighting effects were created in a photo studio using special optical devices. The Technique is unique, and Gobo masks for projection light attachments are handmade for each portrait.

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Libido and Mortido Portrait #61, 2017

George Mayer