I’m returning to the subject of a July 2011 post because, coincidentally, Erwin Blumenfeld was inspired by the surrealist photography of Man Ray, whose work is featured on Challenge!  Man Ray’s real name was Emmanuel Radnitsky and he grew up in New Jersey. UPDATE: Weirsdo did indeed accept the challenge.  Her intriguing YouTube Man Ray contributions are now available on that post. 

Marua Motherwell - New York ca. 1941, Erwin Blumenfeld (gelatin silver print)

In my travels on the information super highway, I found a blog in Greece called “PROVA D’ARTE” GRUPPO FOTOGRAFICO. It’s July 9, 2010 post announced a show in Zurich, Switzerland called  “Erwin Blumenfeld Vintage” at the galerie andresthalmann. Here’s some of what the post said about him:

Paris 1937, Erwin Blumenfeld

“Blumenfeld considered his nude studies an important part of his work. Inspired by Surrealist photographers, among them Man Ray and Brassaï, he explored dream worlds. The oscillation between flesh and stone, skin and plaster makes some of his nudes extremely powerful. The photographer frequently draped his models in veils to enhance a sense of eroticism and inaccessibility. His visionary stagings are characterised by strong light -contrasts, distortions and experimental development techniques such as solarisation, negative prints and multiple exposures.”

The post told us to “read more” and then linked to a .pdf written by Marina Schinz for galerie andresthalmann. As it turns out, she had written the above paragraph as well as the next paragraph:

“His beauties were aloof and often veiled, less from prudishness than in a playful evocation of the hidden unconscious – Freud’s discovery – and exuding an erotic aura. Blumenfeld liked to quote Karl Kraus, who quipped that a normal man loved a lady’s naked leg while an erotic man preferred it

Dancing Model Behind Veil, New York,1946 by Erwin Blumenfeld

sheathed in a silk stocking, but a pervert craved the stocking itself. In 1938 Blumenfeld’s love of silk and tulle blossomed in his iconic Nude under Wet Silk series. He also used solarisation to erect a magic barrier, and made masterful use of various other techniques – mirror-images, double exposures, shadow images, screens, etc. – to endow his subjects with a hint of surrealism.”

I am assuming he loved silk and tulle because he was one of New York’s most highly regarded fashion photographers in the 1940s and 1950s. And that’s all I have to say about Erwin Blumenfeld.

And the ballerina is wearing a tutu made out of tulle. Tulle is most commonly used for veils, wedding gowns and ballet tutus.