Happy Birthday! Man Ray

Man Ray Self-Portrait

Man Ray (August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976), born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. Best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, Man Ray produced major works in a variety of media and considered himself a painter above all. He was also a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. He is noted for his photograms, which he renamed “rayographs” after himself.  ~ artdaily.org

    • Marya Berry
    • August 28th, 2010

    Of Man Ray:
    “Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. Best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography…”

    I agree with the statement concerning Ray’s contributions to both the Dada and Surrealists movements, for the reason that he practically single-handedly created what became known as “avant-garde” photography. I’d have love to have been “rayographed” by this rare artist. Meaning that it is perhaps impossible to describe such a live-wire (and tightrope walking) photographer as ‘simply’ anything.

    I add my birthday wishes to those expressed here and praise this deservedly famous man. His self-portrait (above) is a model of self-restraint and communication at one and the same time, just like his name.

    • I saw the exhibition “Alias Man Ray” at the Jewish Museum in New York this year. As you can guess, it was transmogrifying. And, yes, Marya, glad to hear you state how he almost “single-handedly created what became known as “avant-garde” photography.” Also, love how he played with his alias name and supplanted the very term photogram used by the father of photography William Henry Fox Talbot with his own “rayograph’! I so enjoyed your comments, knowledge and enthusiasm and thank you greatly. -Donna

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