Yesterday I went to an incredible exhibit of Man Ray's portraits at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He was able to catch his subjects perfectly telling the story of their lives and their art. Ray seemed to know all of the artists in Paris in the 1920s, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, and every other name that was famous a hundred years ago and many, are still famous today. The excitement and adventure of working with these artists when art was really taking off after World War I must have been an incredible experience. The exhibit showed hundreds of his original prints with details of the when the image was made. Man had made more than the norm portrait, his told the story of the person in the image. I had only an hour and finished less than half of the exhibit so I will go back next week. An incredible visit.
The emotion and story in Man's portraits were really quite incredible. I don't do portraits but I do spend time studying those from Tom Wolff and Annie Leibobitz, two incredible photographers who seem to really connect with the people they are working with. Perhaps they are channeling shades of Man's storytelling techniques.