I’ve glossed over the importance of Lee Miller and Man Ray’s collaboration in my introductory post to Lee Miller. She did not practically invent the photographic process of solarisation as I previously stated.  She did, after all, seek an apprenticeship with Man Ray. 

Victoria & Albert Museum reports in its chronology (Surrealist Paris 1929 – 1932) of her life:

She learned from one of the greatest modern photographers, mastering lighting, printing and the process of ‘solarization’ – a way of reversing highlights into blacks – they discovered together. 

Nude bent forward, about 1930. Lee Miller. © 2007 Lee Miller Archives via V&A

Nude bent forward, about 1930. Lee Miller. © 2007 Lee Miller Archives via V&A

Lee Miller was raped at age seven while staying with a family friend in Brooklyn, contracted gonorrhea and endured years of  painful treatment. Her son, Antony Penrose, said this made her a surrealist before she ever went to Paris. I guess she kept a subconscious sense of imagery, considering she was constantly photographed in the nude by her amatuer photographer father.

Alright but that doesn’t have anything to do with the importance of Lee Miller and Man Ray’s collaboration to the art world other than my own unexpected juxtaposition of surrealism.

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NOTE:  Victoria and Albert reports Lee Miller created some of the most radical photographs of the nude of the Surrealist epoch – nudes which have been described as transforming the female torso into a phallus.

 

 

 

 

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