In this remarkable autobiography, Man Ray - painter, photographer, sculptor, film maker and writer - relates the story of his life, from his childhood determination to be an artist and his technical drawing classes in a Brooklyn high school, to the glamorous and heady days of Paris in the 1940s, when any trip to the city 'was not complete until they had been "done" by Man Ray's camera'. Friend to everyone who was anyone, Ray tells everything he knows of artists, socialites and writers such as Matisse, Hemingway, Picasso and Joyce, not to mention Lee Miller, Nancy Cunard, Alberto Giacometti, Gertrude Stein, Dali, Max Ernst and many more, in this decadent, sensational account of the early twentieth-century cultural world.
Born Emmanuel Radnitzky (1890-1976), Man Ray grew up in America but spent the greater part of his life as an emigre in Paris. Man Ray's art ranges from painting, sculpture, collage, constructed objects and photography. Beginning in 1921, he received hundreds of commissions for portraits and commercial work which were featured in publications such as Vogue, Vu, Harper's Bazaar and Vanity Fair. He was an American, but worked in Paris from 1921 to 1940, when Duchamp, Stieglitz, Picasso and Dali were among his colleagues. A member of the Dada art movement and the only American member of the Paris Surrealist movement, Man Ray considered himself an artist and thought of photography as a medium of artistic expression when used for more than reproduction. In describing his work, Man Ray once said, 'I paint what can not be photographed. I photograph what I do not wish to paint.'