Man Ray: the creativity that becomes photography, painting, film … ART

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Posters Man Ray exhibition at Villa Manin

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“Kiki” by Beatrice Brandini

“I paint what can not be photographed. Photographer what I don’t want to paint”.

“I paint the invisible. Photographer the visible”. Man Ray

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Man Ray: “Le violin d’Ingres”, 1924

It was a very long time that I wanted to talk about Man Ray, one of the artists that I love and that, through some of his works, has characterized the last century iconography. With works such as the famous “Le violin d’Ingres”, female nude carved violin at the kidneys.


Man Ray: “Le Cadeau”, 1921

The occasion has given me the wonderful exhibition at Villa Manin (Passariano, Codroipo) in the province of Udine, in which are collected more than three hundred works by the artist. A path that shows the eclectic nature of this extraordinary character who during his life was especially persuaded by curiosity, which in the arts becomes dowry, the same one that allowed him to experiment. Man Ray was in fact competed in photography, painting, creating some very special items (the most famous is “Cadeau”, the iron plate which is crossed by a row of nails), as an author of short films (some of these were considered, unanimously, surrealist masterpieces of cinematography).


Photo of Man Ray

The exhibition is an interesting artistic journey, but also an opportunity to understand Man Ray man. Through travel, accommodation, friendships and loves above all, a private life that often is mixed and combined (NOURISHED would say) to the artist.

Noire et Blanche, 1926

Man Ray: “Black and White”, 1926. Courtsey Marconi Foundation

Emmanuel Radnitzky, this is his real name, was born in America, but already very young, he moved to Paris where he comes into contact with some of the most important figures of the twentieth century. Friend of Marcel Duchamp, feels that Europe, specifically Paris, is the place to “create”, because Dadaism and surrealism, movements of those years, are currents that give to photography and filmography can invent, experiment, innovate.

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Man Ray portrait of Dora Marr

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Man Ray: Peggy Guggenheim in dress by Paul Poiret, 1924

In those years realizes numerous images for fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Years are free, Paris has just emerged from war, wants to surrender and is characterized by an extraordinary vitality. Why the protagonists of the portraits of Man Ray are perfect, brilliant characters, Matisse, Braque; eccentric, Gertrude Stein; sometimes excessive, as the Marchesa Casati …

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Man Ray and Adrienne, 1930

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Man Ray: “La Fortune”, 1938

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Man Ray: The equivoque, 1943. Courtesy Marconi Foundation

Important, but for his art could define determinants, were some women, like Kiki de Montparnasse, Lee Miller and Juliet Browner. Friends, lovers and MUSE, to inspire through their body, some of his most famous works, such as Le Violin d’Ingres 1924 (Kiki de Montparnasse) or subsequent magnificent portraits to his wife Juliet Browner.

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Man Ray series “The Fifty Face of Juliet”, 1945. Courtesy Fondazione Marconi

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Man Ray series “The Fifty Face of Juliet”, 1945. Courtesy Fondazione Marconi

I pointed out how Man Ray has competed with great skill and naturalness in all forms of expression, passing from photography, to experimental cinema, painting …, and although there is always a form of provocation and subtle eroticism (great admirer the Marquis de Sade), his works are extremely elegant and refined, unmistakable and for this  inimitable.

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Man Ray: “Untitled”, 1946. Courtesy Marconi Foundation

“I do not try, I guess!” Man Ray

Good life to all!


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