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Lucas Samaras
(September 14, 1936 - living) Greece - U.S.A.

Lucas Samaras

Painter, Photographer, Sculptor


Born at Kastoría, Macedonia, Greece, Lucas Samaras was already known as a sculptor, painter, and performance artist when he began experimenting with photography. In his early work, which includes multi-media assemblages, he often included images of himself.

The persistent use of himself as a subject has led one critic to remark that "Samaras's almost obsessional self-observation extends past narcissism toward a physical understanding of himself."

Lucas Samaras is both artist and theoretician who regards his life as an art object. In his work, he has combined Performance Art, and many forms of abstraction including post-Dadaism, post-Surrealism, and post-Abstract Expressionism. In 1959, Samaras took part in the earliest "Happenings" led by Allan Kaprow, in which the audience participated with the artist in disconnected-seeming events.

In 1973 Samaras discovered that the wet dyes of Polaroid prints were highly malleable, allowing him to create what he calls "Photo-Transformations." He made these images in the modest New York apartment that also served as his studio.

Describing himself as a "Peeping Tom," Samaras makes and remakes his own image to create a multi-faceted portrait of himself. These self-portrait photographs are distorted, terrifying, and often mutilated images.

Samaras is noted for his unusual assemblages, incorporating such diverse materials as straight pins, multicolored string, plastics, chicken wire, feathers, and mirrors.


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