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The Legs of Sam Samore’s photos

rudolf Stingel, Urs Fischer
My Whitney Biennial photo showing Rudolph Stingel’s self-portrait painting based on a Sam Samore photo of the artist.

The picture above is on my flickr site. It has the most hits of any one of my sometimes-fuzzy art and people pictures. It’s a Whitney Biennial 2006 shot of Rudoph Stingel’s self portrait painting in the room with Urs Fischer’s punched out walls and candle drips. Stingel’s painting is based on a photo of him by Sam Samore.

Nobody has my photo as one of their favorites and until recently nobody had made a comment on it so it’s curious to me how the piece keeps getting seen. Then suddenly last week up pops a comment from my friend Chuck Patch of New Orleans, an extraordinary photographer with a vast and committed following on flickr. Chuck’s comment has to do with Samore, who just had a show at PS 1. That show included a self-portrait suicide series that dates back to 1973.

Sam Samore, The Suicidist number 7, 1973. 33 x 55 cm. Courtesy galerie Anne de Villepoix. More pix from the series here.

Chuck’s comment was that back in 1973 he’d had Samore in a photography class he and Robert Sietsema (food critic for Village Voice) had taught in Madison, WI. Chuck said he and Robert had pooh-pooh’ed the suicide series back then, but it appears that Samore got the last laugh.

Rob Matthews
Rob Matthews drawing from the series on spontaneous human combustion.

I want to say there’s a similarity between that photo of Samore’s and this drawing by Rob Matthews…. And I guess that’s enough suicide and mayhem for this morning.