Olga's Gallery

Man Ray Biography

Man Ray was born in Brooklyn, NY as Emmanuel Radinski and changed his name at the age of 15 to get away from persecution because of his obvious Russian-Jewish heritage. His artistic training he received at evening classes in New York.

In 1915 Ray met Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) and Francis Picabia (1879-1959) and soon became involved in the thriving Dada movement. His most remembered Dada object is "Gift".

In 1921 Man Ray moved to Paris, where later he would become closely associated with the Surrealist group, contributing to their exhibitions. The Imagery Portrait of the Marquis de Sade, both humorous and menacing, is an example of Ray's Surrealism.

Though Man Ray had a substantial output in painting, he is primarily remembered for his fashion and portrait photography. He also invented new photographic techniques, which he called the'Rayograph': objects placed on sensitive paper and exposed to light thus leaving some fantastic images on paper.

Man Ray had a profound impact on modern art. His photographic works were an influential source of inspiration for the avant-garde movements in the 1920s and 1930s.


Man Ray: 1890-1976 by Kate Ware, E. De L'Ecotais, Katherine Ware, Manfred Heiting (Editor), Man Ray. TASCHEN America Llc. 2000.

Man Ray: Paris Photographs, 1920-34 by Delano Greeneidge, Man Ray. Delano Greenidge Editions, 2001.

Man Ray's Montparnasse by Herbert R. Lottman. Harry N Abrams, 2001.

Photographs by Man Ray: One Hundred Five Works, 1920-1934 by Man Ray. Dover Pubns, 1980.

Man Ray: Photographs, Paintings, Objects (Schirmer's Visual Library) by Man Ray, Janus. W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.

Man Ray: America Artist by Neil Baldwin. DaCapo Press, 2000.

Conversion to Modernism: The Early Work of Man Ray by Francis M. Naumann, Patterson Sims. Rutgers University Press, 2003.

  • Man Ray. Gift.

    . Replica of a lost 1921 original. Private collection.