MAN RAY

Noire et blanche, 1926

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The artist

«I started off as a painter. By photographing my canvases, I discovered an interest in reproducing. One day, I decided to destroy the original and only keep the reproduction. From then on, I never stopped believing that painting is a dated form of expression, and that photography will replace it when the public is educated visually. I need to experiment in one way or another.» Man Ray, 1890-1976  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

Noire et Blanche is a photograph taken by Man Ray in 1926. It shows Kiki of Montpar-nasse, Man Ray?s muse and companion. Her eyes are closed and her head is lying on a table. With her left hand she is holding, next to her face and perpendicular to the table, an African mask. This photograph was published for the first time on 1st May 1926 in the Parisian version of Vogue. Since the cubist discovery of African art, until then scorned by the West, it was common to see artists from the first half of the 20th century to repeat representations of African masks in their works. Following the example of other modern artists, Man Ray cited African art as a model at odds with the traditional representation acknowledged in the West. The photographer went further and provocatively placed two opposing forms of beauty in parallel during a very conservative period.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

23 July 2015

Artwork subject

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