Blow Out (and about) // Man Ray Portraits – strike a pose (c’mon, vogue)

What: Man Ray Portraits
When: Until 27th May
Where: National Portrait Gallery
Getting there: Nearest tube – Charing Cross

Man Ray. What a bloody excellent name that is, eh?

If you’re not familiar with the man like Man Ray, let us fill you in: He was an American modernist artist and surrealist snapper based mostly in Paris. Born Emmanuel Radnitzky in 1890, his family changed their surname to Ray due to the Anti-semitism going on at the time. This couple with the shortening of his name to ‘Manny’ soon developed into the très cool Man Ray. YES SON.

Anyway. Where were we? Oh yes. The exhibition.

Man Ray Portraits - Helen Tamiris

Man Ray Portraits Barbette double exposure

Man Ray was one of the first great photographers, capturing friends, celebs and lovers on camera from the 20s through to the 70s. He was clearly in with the ‘in’ crowd, photographing the likes of novelist James Joyce, writer Virginia Woolf, artists Picasso and Matisse and even Coco Chanel.

The NPG exhibition includes more than 150 vintage prints of his portrait work, taken between 1916 and 1968, including some published pics for Vogue and Vanity Fair.

There are also works showcasing his invention of solarisation. This hasn’t anything to do with sunbeds, but it’s more to do with light Vs dark in photographs, like this image of Lee Miller:

Man Ray Portraits - Lee Miller

If you like looking at pics of people striking a pose (c’mon, vogue!), then this one’s for you.

Man Ray Portraits is at the National Portrait Gallery until 27th May. Bookings:

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