This series was developed as a homage to the artist Man Ray. Man Ray worked in photography, film, painting, and sculpture. While he’s best known for his experimental portraits of women, Man Ray produced more than fifty photographs featuring African, Oceanic, and Latin American art during the 1920s and the 1930s. His work had an important role in changing the West’s view of African art. Prior to that time, African objects were considered to be anthropological items, and thereafter they came to be understood as a form of modern art.
In mid-2019, I visited the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which had one of Man Ray's most famous images, Noire et Blanche, on display. In that photograph, the pale woman is understood to represent European civilization and the dark mask to represent mysterious Africa. By combining the woman and the mask, Man Ray was encouraging the viewer to reflect, subconsciously, on how we come to define something as a work of art.
For this homage to Man Ray, I have brought together a model and tribal artworks. The model, in this case, is the Cypriot-British Mischkah Scott and the tribal pieces are artworks that I had collected over forty years while living and working abroad. Unlike the photographs of Man Ray, these images were shot in color using a digital camera, and were later transformed into black and white images in post.
If you'd like to see the full series, download the PDF catalogue by clicking here.