Lucas Samaras (born September 14, 1936) is an artist who was born in Kastoria, Greece. He studied at Rutgers University on a scholarship, where he met Allan Kaprow and George Segal. He participated in Kaprow’s “Happenings,” and posed for Segal’s plaster sculptures. Claes Oldenburg, in whose Happenings he also participated, later referred to Samaras as one of the “New Jersey school,” which also included Kaprow, Segal, George Brecht, Robert Whitman, Robert Watts, Geoffrey Hendricks and Roy Lichtenstein. Samaras previously worked in painting, sculpture, and performance art, before beginning work in photography.
He subsequently constructed room environments that contained elements from his own personal history. His “Auto-Interviews” were a series of text works that were “self-investigatory” interviews. The primary subject of his photographic work is his own self-image, generally distorted and mutilated. He has worked with multi-media collages, and by manipulating the wet dyes in Polaroid photographic film to create what he calls “Photo-Transformations”.
Lucas Samaras represented Greece at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, The Venice Biennale (June 7- November 22, 2009) with the multi-installation “PARAXENA” in the Greek Pavilion in the Giardini.