Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Man Ray

***for some reason blogger is cutting off my images beyond a certain point and i dont remember my html well enough to resize them. help***

Man Ray (actually Emmanuel Radnitzky) was a modernist artist and had a strong influence on the Dada and Surrealist movements. Originally educated as a painter, Ray is known best for his unconventional (then, VERY unconventional) photography. His transition to photography was an unusual progression, as most artists leave the “more rigid” art of photography in search of the broader range of expression that is thought to be thought of in painting, drawing, sculpture etc. On the contrary, in his own words:

“I began as a painter. In photographing my canvases I discovered the value of reproduction in black and white. The day came when I destroyed the painting and kept the reproduction. From then on I never stopped believing that painting is an obsolete form of expression and that photography will dethrone it when the public is visually educated. I know one thing for sure - I need to experiment one form or another. Photography gives me the means, a simpler and faster means than painting.”

Producing the bulk of his best-known work in the 20s and 30s, man ray’s use of alternative printing techniques was then unheard of. Perhaps most importantly, he managed to pull it off in such an elegant and beautiful way that it caught the public’s eye, and helped propel the Surrealist and Dada movements into the next decade.

I love Man Ray so much. He manages to create painterly, surreal, dreamlike photographs, not unlike one of my other favorite photographers, Jerry Uelsmann. As a fellow painter/photographer, this influences me to blend me interests and allow my work to flow through different mediums.

I would compare Ray’s work as a photographer to Roger Ballen’s photographs, both relying on strong juxtapositions and eerie feelings that something is just not right.

1 comment:

mpiedrahita said...

Shameful...But I am admitting that I never knew that Man Ray was the creator of those works. I always appreciate his images but never realized it was him. Thanks for posting someone who isn't necessarily "new" but still very cool :)