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© Lucas Samaras

Lucas Samaras
American, July 6, 1975
Polaroid SX-70 print
3 x 3 in.
98.XM.20.5

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In this self-portrait Lucas Samaras explicitly portrays himself in both roles, as artist and as subject. On the left, he appears dressed and seated behind the camera, in the guise of an artist. In the center, as the subject, his distorted, naked body floats above a black-and-white checkerboard floor. A picture of a life-size skeletal human is the third figure in the composition. Samaras's self-portraits are psychologically complex images that challenge viewers and defy any single interpretation. One analysis of this image could be that Samaras is asking the audience to recognize him as an artist and as an individual concerned with both interior and exterior dimensions of mind, body, and soul.