Man Ray, was born Emmanuel Radnitzky on August 27,
1890, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ray was raised in Brooklyn and
in 1908, graduated from Boy’s High School. In 1911, the Radnitzky
family chose to change their surname to Ray, to avoid anti-Semitism and discrimination.
In 1915, Ray presented his first collection of paintings
and drawings. However, it was not until 1918, that he produced his first
significant photograph exhibit. Along with friend, Marcel Duchamp, Ray
formed the American branch of the Dada movement, which began in Europe
as a rejection of traditional art. He then founded the group of modern
artists called “Others.”
In July 1921, Ray went to live in Paris, France.
During the next few decades in France, Ray transformed the art of photography.
In 1925, his work was presented in the first Surrealist exhibition at
the Gallerie Pierre in Paris. It was during this time, that Ray invented
the photographic technique of solarization, in which the image recorded
on a negative is wholly or partially reversed in tone.
Ray would later return to the United States in 1940,
one step ahead of the Nazis, settling in Los Angeles, California. Nevertheless,
in 1951 he would again return to France, where he would remain until
his death. Ray died on November 18, 1976.
Sources: “Man Ray (1890 - 1976).” American
Jewish Historical Society, American
Jewish Desk Reference, (NY: Random
House, 1999) pg. 332-3, Biography
of Man Ray: Biography Resource Center, Gale Group, Picture by the Library of Congress