Lucas Samaras (b. 1936) is an
photographer known for his artistic distortions and mutilations of his
self-image to create "Photo-Transformations".
Samaras was born in
Kastoria, Greece. He studied at
Rutgers University on a scholarship, where he met
Allan Kaprow and
George Segal. He participated in Kaprow's "Happenings,"
and posed for Segal's plastic sculptures.
Claes Oldenberg, whose Happenings he also participated in, later
referred to Samaras as one of the "New
Jersey school," which also included Kaprow, Segal,
Geoffrey Hendricks and
Roy Lichtenstein. Samaras previously worked in painting, sculpture,
performance art, before beginning work in photography.
Samaras' early work was composed of objects such as straight pins,
twine, glitter, and nails collected in boxes, which suggested personal fetish
objects. He subsequently constructed room environments that contained
elements from his own personal history.
His "Auto-Interviews" were a series of text works that were
The primary subject of his photographic work is his own self-image,
generally distorted and mutilated. He has worked with multi-media collages,
and by manipulating the wet dyes in
Polaroid photographic film to create what he calls