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Lucas Samaras

AutoPolaroid

1971

On View

Floor 5

Neil Bluhm Family Galleries

Artist

Lucas Samaras (1936-)

Title

AutoPolaroid

Date

1971

Medium

Dye diffusion transfer print (Polaroid) with hand-applied ink

Dimensions

Sheet: 3 3/8 × 4 1/4 in. (8.6 × 10.8 cm) Image: 2 7/8 × 3 3/4 in. (7.3 × 9.5 cm)

Edition information

Unique

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Postwar Committee

Accession number

2003.227

Object Label

Like all of the works in Lucas Samaras’s AutoPolaroid series of 1969-71, the figure in this theatrical image is the artist himself. Naked, crouched on all fours, and wearing an inscrutable expression, Samaras reveals to the camera what would otherwise be a private moment. A surround of candy-colored pointillist dots painted on the photographic surface both monumentalizes his body and imparts an element of whimsy to this dramatic moment of self-exposure. For Samaras, the intimate scale and experimental format of the AutoPolaroids enabled a broad range of exploration and role playing; as he remarked, these works afforded him the opportunity to be "my own critic, my own exciter, my own director, my own audience."

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