Sunday, July 29, 2012

partners in surrealism


Spent my Saturday at the Legion of Honor taking in the surreal photography of Man Ray and his muse/artistic partner Lee Miller.  Miller, a former model, met Ray in Paris in the late 1920's, and she became a frequent subject of his photographs and eventually his lover. She had a background in photography as well, and together they explored the abstract and surrealist movement through then-radical photographic techniques like rayographs and solarization.

Lee followed the traditional paradigm of artist's muse with her striking beauty, but she was also a true artist in her own right. She spent years working as a fashion photographer and exposing the surreal in everyday life through her personal photography. When WWII broke out, she became the first female photojournalist to travel to the front lines and photograph the war for Vogue. The photos she took of the blitzkrieg and the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp have become some of the most iconic WWII images in history.

If you're in or around SF, I highly recommend seeing this exhibit. Now I just have to go see Gaultier at the De Young. And since this wouldn't be a proper post without a poorly executed photo collage, here ya go--a bunch of rad surrealist-approved apparel I found on the interwebs, some of which is potentially quite wearable. Yes, I'm talking about the black gloved bra as a top.

L to R: Jean-Charles de Castelbajac F/W 2011, Moschino Cheap & Chic lip print tunic dress (avail, here), Elsa Schiaparelli gloves, Nicholas Kirkwood flats, Salvador Dali ruby lips brooch, Elsa Schiaparelli shoe hat, Nicholas Kirkwood "pony" heel, Viktor & Rolf look from Spring 2010


  1. Would be a facinating exhib indeed! What a beauty she was.

  2. Great photos. Learn something new everyday huh? I always wanted to be someone's muse. I totally dig that combo of people working of each other for the sake of art. I am auditioning to be a muse though, soooo... if anyone is looking for a muse, shout at me.
    Oh and when I'm in the SF area I will add that to my list of things to check out.


  3. I love your inspired style collage! I got to see this exhibit the day before it opened as a perk of being a member. It's absolutely exquisite and inspiring. I loved it, I really wanted to get the scarf in the mouth print but didn't/couldn't drop $70 on it.

    My favorite part was watching some old dude try to analyze the photo of Lee/model bent over and just of her ass. He kept looking at it while rubbing his chin like it was something amazing, ha.

  4. Hope to see this exhibition too. Curiously cool collage - did you create that yourself?

  5. Love it, can't wait to see what you do next! Come check out my blog, maybe we can follow each other!
    Material Fixations