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“I was very fortunate in starting my career as a painter. When first confronted with a camera, I was very much intimidated. So I decided to investigate. But I maintained the approach of a painter to such a degree that I have been accused of trying to make a photograph look like a painting. I did not have to try, it just turned out that way because of my background and my training. Many years ago I had conceived the idea of making a painting look like a photograph! There was a valid reason for this. I wished to distract the attention from any manual dexterity, so that the basic idea stood out. Of course there will always be those who look at words with a magnifying glass and try to see ‘how’, instead of using their brains and figure out ‘why’.”

Man Ray

We asked him whether we could quote him. “Quote me as much as you like; as a matter of fact I don’t even mind if you misquote me !”

Man Ray – [ 9 Days of Photokina “Man Ray on the Future!”

an Interview by Ed Hirsch & Ben Zar, Popular Photography, January 1967, Volume 60, No. 1, p. 99.

“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