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Happy 122nd Birthday to Man Ray

Emmanuel Rudnitzky – AKA – Man Ray

Man Ray, was born Emmanuel Rudinitsky, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 27, 1890. His adult life was spent in Paris, New York, and Hollywood. He considered Paris his home, and his artistic reputation flourished there.

Along with Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia, he became a big part of the Dada and Surrealist movements in art. He is most known for his experimental photograms which he labeled Rayographs. These were not fully appreciated in his lifetime, but are now considered great works.

A Man Ray photogram, or “Rayograph”

Man Ray “Rayograph” of a dandelion

Man Ray made his living as a fashion and portrait photographer, but always managed to throw in his highly individualistic avant-garde style.

Larmes – “Glass Tears” by Man Ray ca 1930-33

Hair photo by Man Ray

“Le Violon d’Ingres” 1924 by Man Ray

World War II forced Man Ray to flee Paris. He spent time in Hollywood from 1940-1951. He had to leave behind his masterpieces of paintings and photography; in essence, his entire artistic career. When his boat was safely in the Port of Newark, he “was overcome with a feeling of intense depression”. He knew he had to start over. (From the book Perpetual Motif – The Art Of Man Ray, 1988, p. 273, compiled by the National Museum of American ArtSmithsonian Institution). I highly recommend this book if you want to learn more about Man Ray.

Eventually, he was able to return to Paris where he died on November 18, 1976.

Happy 122nd, birthday, Man Ray. You have inspired generations of artists.


About Gina Genis

Hi Friends, I'm a photographer and artist who lives in Washington DC. I have two blogs. The Gina Genis Blog is about art and photography. My new blog, DC Discoveries is dedicated to showing you everything from fashion to art, food to entertainment in all sections of the District. I hope you will take the journey with me. I exhibit my work in museums and galleries across the U.S. I'm included in the permanent collections of the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, the Otto G. Richter Library Special Collections Division of the University of Miami, Hard Rock Casino, Orange County Transit District, IBM, and the Sarah and Adam Markman Collection among others. My series "Window Peeping" was included in OsCene 2010 at the Laguna Art Museum, Truman State University, Fellows of Contemporary Art, Biola University, and solo shows at Gallery 825 and Cypress College. The "June Gloom" series was exhibited in a solo show at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The "Kala" series has been exhibited at MPLS Photo Center, Cypress College, and Gallery 825. "Economy Portraits" was created as an Artist In Residence project at the Huntington Beach Art Center, and was awarded "Best Art Show of 2011" by the OC Weekly. I curated Wide Angle View, an exhibit of 16 international, award-winning photo and multi-media journalists at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art to much critical acclaim. Recent reviews of my work have appeared in the Huffington Post, Art Scene, OC Weekly, Orange County Register, New University, Riviera Magazine, Coast Magazine, Huntington Beach Independent, and appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, and more. I lead the Gina Genis Photo Workshops where I show beginning and intermediate photographers how to jump to the next level with their work. I also teach online photography courses through The Compelling Image.

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