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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Lucas Samaras

Dates:  1936, 14 September -
Born:  Greece, Macedonia, Kastoria
Active:  US
 
  
Autobiographical studies and constructions often using Polaroids.

Preparing biographies


Biography provided by Focal Press 
  
Known as a sculptor, painter, and performance artist, Samaras explored the malleability of photography’s descriptive powers in his complex psychological portraits and tableaux. In his series of AutoPolaroids and PhotoTransformations of the late 1960s and 1970s, Samaras focused on himself as subject, playing multiple roles as artist, subject, actor, director, audience, and critic. With theatricality and narcissistic abandon, he used the baroque and claustrophobic space of his apartment studio for his performance: Exaggerated gesture, garish lighting, and post-exposure photo manipulation characterize his probing meditation on identity. His work revels in the interplay of photographic materials and illusion, enhanced by manipulation of Polaroid’s SX-70s wet photo dyes. He painted directly on the surface of images, splicing together panoramic tableaux and illuminating the simultaneously narrative, documentary, and imaginary character of the medium. 
  
(Author: Garie Waltzer - Photographer and consultant) 
  
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409] 
(Used with permission) 
  

Further research

 
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Portraits 
  
If you have a portrait of this photographer or know of the whereabouts of one we would be most grateful. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
Family history 
  
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
 
  

Visual indexes

 
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Visual indexes for this photographer are available for subscribers.There is so much more to explore when you subscribe. 
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Internet biographies

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Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer.Show on this siteGo to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online (www.groveart.com) has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
Show on this siteGo to website
 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

 
• Beaton, Cecil & Buckland, Gail 1975 The Magic Eye: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown & Company) p.251 [Useful short biographies with personal asides and one or more example images.] 
  
• Coke, Van Deren with Diana C. Du Pont 1986 Photography: A Facet of Modernism (New York: Hudson Hills Press, The San Francisco Museum of Art) p.183 
  
• Evans, Martin Marix (Executive ed.) 1995 Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) [Expensive reference work but highly informative.] 
  
• Hoy, Anne H. 1987 Fabrications: Staged, Altered and Appropriated Photographs (New York: Abbeville) p.195 
  
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.227-228 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.] 
  
 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

 
• Bauret, Gabriel (ed. and text) 2001 Color Photography (New York: Assouline) [Includes example color photographs by Lucas Samaras] 
  
• Sobieszek, Robert A. and Deborah Irmas 1994 the camera i: Photographic Self-Portraits (Los Angeles: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art) p.230, Plate 123 [When the Audrey and Sydney Irmas collection was donated to LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1992 the museum gained a remarkable collection of self portraits of notable photographers. If you need a portrait of Lucas Samaras this is a useful starting point.] 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
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