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Man Ray Edit Profile

also known as Emmanuel Radnitzky

artist , photographer

Man Ray was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in France.

He was best known for his photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Man Ray is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called "rayographs" in reference to himself.


Man Ray was born as Emmanuel Radnitzky in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US on 27 of August in 1890. He was the eldest child of Russian Jewish immigrants.


Ray's artistic and mechanical ability came out at a tender age. His high school education played a more important role in providing him with a firm grounding in drafting as well as other art techniques. He also educated himself with regular visits to art museums, where he learnt the works of Old Masters like ike Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian and Caravaggio. As a student, Ray was inspired by Mr. Alfred Stieglitz, whose gallery he toured regularly, as well as Mr. Robert Henri, who was his high school teacher.

Soon after graduating from high school in 1908, Ray was offered a scholarship to study architecture but decided to pursue a career in arts. While his parents were unhappy with his decision, they supported his love for the arts, and even rearranged the modest living quarters of the family so that their son could employ the room as his studio. Ray stayed for 4 years working towards being a professional painter, while also earning some cash as a technical illustrator and commercial artist at various Manhattan companies.


In 1911 he began visiting Alfred Stieglitz's gallery "291, " where he was strongly influenced by its exhibitions of Rodin, Cézanne, Cezanne, and Brancusi.

In 1921 he moved to Paris and took part in exhibitions with the Dadaists and, later, with the Surrealists.

With the exception of a decade in Hollywood during WW1, he spent the whole of his life in France. During his time in France, Ray continued to be part of artistic avant garde, coming into contact with renowned figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. Man Ray started working in several mediums including sculpture, painting, film, and photography. His earliest artistic works w ere relatively static, influenced mostly by cubism and expressionism.

Man Ray was forced to return from Paris to the United States due to the Second World War. He lived in Los Angeles from 1940 to 1951 where he focused his creative energy on painting.

Man Ray returned to Paris in 1951 and settled with Juliet into a studio at 2 bis rue Ferou near the Luxembourg Gardens in St. Germain des Pres where he continued his creative practice across mediums. [23] During the last quarter century of his life, he returned to a number of his iconic earlier works, recreating them in new form. He also directed the production of limited edition replicas of several of his objects, working first with Marcel Zerbib and later Arturo Schwarz.

He died in Paris on November 18, 1976 from a lung infection.


  • He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all.


Quotations: "I would photograph an idea rather than an object, a dream rather than an idea. "

"Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask 'how', while others of a more curious nature will ask 'why'. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information. "

"A camera alone does not make a picture. To make a picture you need a camera, a photographer and above all a subject. It is the subject that determines the interest of the photograph. "

"When I saw I was under attack from all sides, I knew I was on the right track. "

"My works were designed to amuse, annoy, bewilder, mystify and inspire reflection. "

"Each one of us, in his timidity, has a limit beyond which he is outraged. It is inevitable that he who by concentrated application has extended this limit for himself, should arouse the resentment of those who have accepted conventions which, since accepted by all, require no initiative of application. And this resentment generally takes the form of meaningless laughter or of criticism, if not persecution. "


In 1913, Man Ray met his first wife, the Belgian poet Adon Lacroix (Donna Lecoeur), in New York. They married in 1914, separated in 1919, and formally divorced in 1937.

Max Rudnitzky

A tailor

Minnie Rudnitzky

Sam Rudnitzky

Essie Rudnitzky

Dora Rudnitzky

Adon Lacroix

The Belgian poet

Marcel Duchamp