Man Ray demonstrates little interest in photographing nature. What matters to him in this field is the loss of scale which leads to a perception of monumentality; the close-up denatures the photographic object, rendering it apt for digression. Simple pebbles become, by the bias of lenses, mountains into an unreal landscape, true “anamorphic” forms characteristic of Jean Arp. In fact, it is unavoidable to think of the latter’s sculptures which, precisely, materialize in 1933: Concretions are rounded forms, of polished surfaces, which offer to light the favorable facets to fluidity of shadows. Man Ray’s Galets provides a plastic value to organic forms, thereby creating a form of communion with nature. This photograph materializes André Breton’s viewpoint, according to which “surreality would be contained in reality itself”.


  • Title: Galets
  • Creator: Man Ray
  • Date: 1933
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 24 x 30
  • Rights: © Man Ray 2015 Trust
  • Medium: Gelatin-silver print from the 1980’s

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