On Man Ray's Violin D'Ingres

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Man Ray's Violin D'Ingres is a perfect example of a modernist photograph. Man Ray pushes both how photography is perceived and what is possible within a photograph in this example. Man Ray himself was an American, born as Emmanuel Rudnitsky, but moved to Paris and engaged in very non-American photography. Europe lacked the American ideals about what "strait photography" should be. While American schools of photography believed that an art photograph should only be made with a large negative with maximum depth of field, Europeans were busy experimenting with new uses of the medium as well as experimenting with altering the image in serious ways to change the meaning. Man Ray was born the son of Jewish immigrants in Philadelphia. He moved to Brooklyn where he was able to learn a broad scope of the arts and have access to all of New York's resources. There he met Steiglitz and became interested in the 291-gallery crowd, but it was when he became acquainted with New York City's Dadaists that exploration of his self such as this became possible. The time this photograph was taken explains much about why it was taken. The period between the world wars was arguably the most prolific period in photography's history in terms of quantity produced and variety. Modernism in Europe was busy tackling new subject matter and expressing itself in every way possible. Images were manipulated in ways foretelling of much of photography's future, including what is so possible digitally. However, the most important thing is perhaps that this movement was embodied by the belief that expressing yourself in anyway is possible. In other photography movements previously, large groups of people tended to represent similar ideas. Technically, Man Ray has been known to take use of many formats available to him. He practiced a form of art similar to Photogenic Drawings as well as collage and montage. Determining the technique used in construction of this photograph is difficult,...
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