Man Ray, Sans Titre, 1935
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Man Ray and Thom Bettridge

Man Ray, sans titre, 1935, collection particulière © Man Ray 2015 Trust / Adagp, Paris 2020

What fascinates me when I look at Man Ray's photographs in the fashion context is how they manage to unravel and lay bare the machinery of the fashion photograph itself. With the distance of time and the irony that tends to lace surrealism, all the ingredients of these images are laid bare and unmixed. Attitude. Stagecraft. Bodies. An aspirational feeling of distance. As our main delivery system for fashion — both then and now — the fashion photograph acts as a kind of total artwork, one that much like opera inhales art, architecture, light, furniture, and anything else that might be around it. Interestingly, in both opera and fashion photography, clothes themselves are almost always secondary.

Thom Bettridge, Editor-in-Chief at Highsnobiety

 

Read the other tributes

Man Ray and Fashion
from 23 September to 17 January 2021