Artist / Photographer Research – Man Ray

Whilst talking to my University tutor about my work he advised me to have a look at artist and photographer Man Ray. Having looked at his works before back when i was studying for my A-levels I could remember what his image making style was. I still went ahead and revisited the imagery of one of the most important pioneers of contemporary photography.

Ray 2

At first, when I was advised to do some research on Man Rays work, I was confused as to why this was. However, after re-reading about his experimental photogrpahic work, with particular interest in his nude body imagery, it became clear to me that the style in which the media is composed and shot lends it’s self to frames that are slightly unrecognisable and visually intriguing. This really made me think because in a way this type of imagery questions the viewers perspective about the subject matter. This in tern directly compares and equally contrasts with the media of pornography and it is in this comparing and contrasting nature between the two subject matters that opens up a space for the viewer to explore, due to the sexually suggestiveness of the unrecognisable black and white imagery that they are viewing.

Ray 1

Everything that I wrote about (above) is clearer to see visually here with this image, as it is simply a cropped part of the image at the top of this post. Yet by cropping the frame down,  creates a stronger dynamic image. Also the subject matter within the frame is visually stronger as it is less recognisable.  This is something that I could take as inspiration for my project, not to mention editing my images to black and white, and possibly change around the tones.


I find both of these images (above & below) really beautiful studies of the nude human body. These images and in general by re-visiting Man Ray’s works has given me a great surge of inspiration and enthusiasm towards my image based practice and particular my degree project that I am currently working on. I think Ray’s use of light within these images is what makes them captivating.

Ray 7


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Filed under 352MC -Professional Photographic Practice, 3rd Year

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