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Photo-Transformation
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© Lucas Samaras

Lucas Samaras
American, November 7, 1973
Polaroid SX-70 print
3 x 3 in.
98.XM.20.10

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What does Lucas Samaras reveal about himself in this Photo-Transformation? He created this self-portrait with a Polaroid camera, but he did not let the picture develop on its own. Samaras altered the print by manipulating the dyes, slightly obscuring his head and shoulders. The viewer's attention focuses on his gaping mouth, which suggests a long, desperate scream. Perhaps Samaras was trying to convey that he is frightened. Is he crying out in despair, or pain, or rage? Or is he crying out at all? This portrait seems to present more questions than answers, somewhat like the artist himself.