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Man Ray

Born in 1890 - United States

BIOGRAPHY

Man Ray, born Emmanuel Rudnitsky in Philadelphia in 1890. He initially did a course in architecture, before devoting himself to art solely.

After an advertising career, which he began in 1912 in New York, during which he rubbed shoulders with avant-garde artists like Marcel Duchamp, his artistic production wavered between fawn painting and photography. He attempted to create an American branch in 1915 of the Dadaism movement with Marcel Duchamp, but this turned out to be unsuccessful and he gave up the idea in 1920, stating that the movement can't exist in New York.

It was in 1921, a year later that Man Ray arrived in Paris and joined the French Dada movement with Duchamp. He presented his initial "Ready Made" and after a few trials, painted with a spray gun, though eventually he turned towards photography as he found this medium to be the most interesting for his artistic research. He took photos of famous people like Jean Cocteau or even James Joyce.

He revolutionized photography for more than thirty years and realized nude series of Meret Oppenheim. But it was when he discovered the solarization technique, that he managed to develop his artistic approach, by adding a kind of a halo around the characters, each of them positioned in a surrealistic manner.

Throughout his life, Man Ray continued his photo work, but also expressed himself through painting, assembling and collage. He died in Paris in 1976 and was buried at the Montparnasse cemetery. One can read the inscription « Unconcerned, but not indifferent » on his tombstone. Man Ray became one of the greatest artists of the dada and surrealist period, by revolutionizing global photography.

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