Blast From The Past

by rubenharris

Man_ray

Man Ray, Le Violon d’Ingres, 1924
 
Before there was photoshop, there was Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky).
 
Man Ray was an admirer of the paintings of Jean-Auguste-Dominique
Ingres and made a series of photographs, inspired by Ingres’s
languorous nudes, of the model Kiki in a turban. Painting the f-holes
of a stringed instrument onto the photographic print and then
rephotographing the print, Man Ray altered what was originally a
classical nude. He also added the title Le Violon d’Ingres, a French
idiom that means “hobby.” The transformation of Kiki’s body into a
musical instrument with the crude addition of a few brushstrokes makes
this a humorous image, but her armless form is also disturbing to
contemplate. The title seems to suggest that, while playing the violin
was Ingres’s hobby, toying with Kiki was a pastime of Man Ray. The
picture maintains a tension between objectification and appreciation
of the female form.

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