Samantha Lynn Croteau (b. Lawrence, Massachusetts 1986) is a large format 4×5 color film photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. She grew up in New Hampshire where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Photography and Media Arts from Chester College of New England in 2011. After graduation, her thesis work, Samantha Lynn Croteau: Self-Titled Debut, was shown at NK Gallery in Boston, MA that same year. In 2014 she received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from The San Francisco Art Institute, California. While a candidate there she participated in two group exhibitions; Then and Now: Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, 1945–2013, Diego Rivera Gallery (2012), and Selfie, Swell Gallery (2013). Most recently her photography was featured online in The Editorial Magazine in November of 2015.
Wet is an ongoing photography series that explores pleasure, pain, and loneliness. Pleasure – stemming from the idea of human or sexual connection; pain and loneliness coming from unrequited desire. The impetus for this work was a string of failures in my romantic relationships and a relocation to Los Angeles. Whether the failures and misgivings in my relationships were readily apparent or unexpected, a sense of loss has permeated my life and work here. Los Angeles has been the ideal setting for this work; not only in it’s landscape and light, but in that it has always been a city where people’s hopes and expectations are tested, but rarely met. Like most residents of Los Angeles, I spend a lot of time in my car. Rather than looking for fast food, pressed juice or gas, I spend my time looking for signs of romance. To me, wedding chapels, strip clubs, and bars all offer a promise or suggestion of a connection and a photograph. It is in these places that I usually find myself and my subjects. Whether I come to the location spontaneously or through scouting, my time spent there is always brief. I often make a picture, have a beer, and move on. These photographs are largely autobiographical and allude to sexual experiences and fantasies. They are about the idea or desire to be touched more than the act itself. I employ portraits of male figures alongside neon signs to suggest the possibility of finding a companion. Bars, strip clubs, psychics, intersections, hotels, bedrooms, showers, and backyards are all spaces charged with the potential for sexual intimacy. In these scenes, the subjects are soaked in overly saturated color, and dark shadows are used to build tension and drama. I have created a slick appearance in the photographs, despite the experiences they represent being anything but.
To view more of Samantha’s work please visit her website.