Man Ray…photographer, artist, sculptor extraordinaire


“A camera alone does not make a picture. To make a picture, you need a camera, a photographer, and above all a subject. It is the subject alone that determines the interest of the photograph.” Man Ray 1890-1876

Mark Rothko Portrait

Once in a while, there comes along a person, whose approach to the established pecking order, is out of the ordinary.

And that leads to conclusions from observers….either they say he/she is mad or eccentric…or they say the person is a genius.

As an example, many people who looked at Einstein, with his long, overgrown unkempt hair, his mannerisms and his habits, regarded him as nothing but a madman, an eccentric, or at least, a weirdo.

Another example was the British astronomer Patrick Moore….the guy was so bright in his chosen subject, but when he spoke, you could hardly understand what he was saying, he spoke that fast. And he too, had his out of the ordinary ways.

Such a person was Man Ray, the writer, painter, sculptor, film maker and photographer.

He was multi-talented, but his techniques were frowned upon by the establishment. They judged his photos and his techniques to be cheap tricks, carried out by an equally cheap magician.

Black and White, 1926 by Man Ray

Glass Tears, 1932 by Man Ray

On the other hand, his followers realised that the man had an innate sense of being able to perceive the veil around real life, and then to be able to pierce that veil and allow the ordinary man to see it.

And the many people who aligned themselves with him were of similar tastes, one such lady being Peggy Guggenheim.

She was the daughter of a very wealthy, but apparently failed businessman, who died when the Titanic sank in 1912. Eventually inheriting $2.5 million, a huge sum in those days, she drifted towards the avant-garde world of art and all things Bohemian.

Soon she became famous in social circles for her outrageous ways…she once stood naked in front of her butler while giving him orders…and although very wealthy, she was very stingy, known to scraping dinner guests’ leftovers back into serving bowls, and once spending an entire day searching Venice for cheap toilet paper!

Peggy and Man Ray remained good friends, often being seen at the same social events, and he took many shots of her in her prime.

Peggy Guggenheim by Man Ray

Peggy Guggenheim in her later years

But back to Man Ray….even though he had by now achieved status in the art world, some people still said he was just another eccentric, obsessed with women. He confirmed this in a sense, during an interview once, when asked what had satisfied him the most during his life, to which he replied “I think….women”

Whatever the case, Man Ray was a one-off and his work still fetches huge prices.

“I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive. I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.” Man Ray

all photos flickr.com

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About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 years...my first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money back...no arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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