Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The Man Ray Posting

First of all, it actually is Man Ray, not Manray. He was born Emmanuel Radnitsky in Philadelphia in 1890. As well as having credentials as a dadaist and surrealist painter, friends with the father of dada, Marcel Duchamp, Man is a great inspiration to me as a photographer. He was actually introduced to the camera by Alfred Stieglitz. One of the great masters of the classical school of photography. Originally Man wanted to use the camera to document his paintings, but soon he had discovered the artistic potential.

As a photographer Man is probably famous for a few different techniques and styles. surreal portraits like Tears (Les Larmes), nudes like Violin d'ingres, Solarizations, Rayographs (yes named for himself) and portraiture.

Rayographs are a cameraless technique involving placing objects on a glass plate in a darkroom and then exposing the plate to light. He would then do contact prints with the plate where the glass would cause unique refractions on to the paper.

Solarizations (also known as the Sabatier effect) are a phenomenon that can occur by accident in the darkroom when a partially developed negative is exposed to light. Man Ray was one of the first photographers to make use of this for artistic effect. By exposing the partially developed plate to light the dark unexposed background in the negative is affected while the light is insufficient to affect the already exposed areas. A dark narrow gulf remains between the differently exposed areas creating a fine outline.

Many of Man Ray's works can be seen at the Man Ray Trust website. The Getty also has an excellent collection of his photographic works.

No comments:

Post a Comment