Photographer Biography – RAY, MAN

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RAY, MAN
USA, 1890-1976

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Man Ray was born August 27, 1890 and Died November 18, 1976. He was a pioneering painter and photographer in the Dada, surrealist, and abstract art movements of the 1920s and 1930s. He founded the New York City Dada movement with his friends Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia and then moved to Paris in 1921, where he became a portrait photographer to the intellectual avant-garde.

Although he was familiar with the work of Alfred Stieglitz when he was a struggling young artist in New York, Man Ray did not take up photography until he reached Paris in the early 20’s; and he did so, initially out of need rather than desire. Unable to sell his paintings, he turned to fashion photography and protraiture.

He was extrordinarily successful in both areas. By 1921, Man Ray’s work was causing something of a sensation due to his use of natural light, sharp clear contrast and informal poses. His work seemed extreme or avant-guarde at a time when Pictorialism was still the predominant style of photography in Europe.

These are some of his photos:

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