Man Ray on Man Ray

“When I took photos, when I was in the darkroom, I deliberately dodged all the rules, I mixed the most insane products together, I used film way past its use-by date, I commited heinous crimes against chemistry and photography, and you can’t see any of it.”

Man Ray, Man Ray 1890-1976, 2000

“… as I waited in vain a couple of minutes for an image to appear, regretting the waste of paper, I mechanically placed a small glass funnel, the graduate and the thermometer in the tray on the wtted paper, I turned on the light; before my eyes an image began to form, not quite a simple silhouette of the objects as in a straight photograph, but distorted and refracted by the glass more or less in contact with the paper and standing out against a black background, the part directly exposed to the light.”

“Taking whatever objects came to hand; my hotel-room key, a handkerchief, some pencils, a brush, a candle, a piece of twine – it wasn’t necessary to put them in the liquid but on the dry paper first, exposing it to the light for a few seconds as with the negatives – I made a few more prints, excitedly, enjoying myself immensely. In the morning examined the results, pinning a couple of the Rayographs – as I decided to call them – on the wall.”

Man Ray, Self Portrait, 1988


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