Lucas Samaras (1936-)
Dye diffusion transfer print (Polaroid) with hand-applied ink
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)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Postwar Committee
Rights and Reproductions Information
© artist or artist’s estate
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."