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Carey Makes More Discoveries in Man Ray Self-Portrait
Ellen Carey, associate professor of photography at the Hartford Art School, has followed up her 2009 discovery of a signature hidden within a 1935 photo by Surrealist artist/photographer Man Ray with a brand new find.
In her 2009 discovery, Carey found a hidden signature in Man Ray’s black and white self-portrait, Space Writings, by holding the photo up to a mirror.
Now Carey’s detective work has revealed additional scholarly finds. Within the looping curlicues of Space Writings, Carey discovered a group of “penlight portraits” that loosely form a triangle. They are highlighted in the above image in blue, green and yellow; Man Ray’s signature, discovered by Carey in 2009, is highlighted in red.
These penlights portraits mirror Man Ray’s face, using the modus operandi of “automatic drawing,” one of the great games of the Dada and Surrealist movement. These “light” portraits, in addition to the “word art” found in his hidden signature, are a fascination for Carey, both seen in the artist’s complexity and his sophisticated expression.
Two Hartford Art School BFA students, Pamela Gibson and Rachael Dioses, are in charge of the project to re-create the photographic image, collaborating with Carey on her research.
Carey will submit her new discovery to the Man Ray Trust, Artist Rights Society (ARS) and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, which has the Man Ray photograph in its permanent collection.
Carey is submitting this image to various periodicals, such as Artforum, and is also working on a book project with interest from Ashgate Publishers (VT and UK). She said she first wanted to share her discovery with the University community through UNotes, before it appears anywhere else.