Inside this box is a photograph of the artist’s face with pins stuck at regular intervals along the contours of his cheek, moustache and mouth. According to Samaras ‘the pins are lines, marks and dots, they create a net pattern which gives a strange illusion’. For Samaras, the box represents an equivalent to the human body. He sees making one of his boxes as a series of ‘erotic gestures. In Greece, where I was born, the words for lick and sculpt are the same.’
Samaras began making boxes using found objects and materials in the early 1960s. His father was a shoemaker and, as a child, Samaras often played in his aunt’s dress shop: ’The pin is to an extent a part of the family’, he once said, referring to the frequent use of pins in his work. His boxes frequently contain both soft and sharp materials. Here shards of glass both repel and attract. Samaras has said, ’this force to touch or not touch, destroy or caress, has always been with me’.