Description - Samaras by Ben Lifson
Photographer, painter, sculptor, Lucas Samaras is one of the most influential and provocative artists of our time. Once again available to readers, this long out-of-print volume presents a thorough compilation of Samara's photographic work, beginning with his earliest "Auto-Polaroids." This exhaustive body of work paved the way for a generation of contemporary photo-artists, expanding the expressive possibilities of the medium. Using Polaroid materials, large--sometimes life-sized--formats, manipulated imagery, and composites, Samaras helped forge a vocabulary employed by artists and photographers throughout the eighties. In his most profound achievement, he adopted one of photography's basic genres--portraiture--and used it as a basis for an inquiry into the self, which remains unmatched in its intensity and boundless in its ramifications. Photography critic Ben Lifson provides a trenchant critique and history of Samaras's work. "Samaras split himself into model, actor, director, audience, and critic," Lifson writes. "To each of these roles he brought a skilled artist's hand an an eye deeply informed by the historical traditions and motifs of art and by the vernacular and popular traditions of photography. He became a rare figure in American art, not an artist who occasionally uses photography for tactical reasons . . . but an artist who made photography central to his aesthetic campaign."
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