Man Ray e la couture: tessuto, ago, filo, manichino

Andrea Zucchinali

Whilst Man Ray’s influence in 20th century’s fashion history, as a photographer, is very well known, his relationship with tailoring – an activity that had a crucial role in Ray’s early life, as his mother was a tailor – is still to be further explored. Taking in exam different artworks, starting from the early non-pictorial Tapestry (a patchwork made of 110 samples of tissue) to the drawings published in Les Mains Libres (some of which are explicitly dedicated to the world of tailoring, like Fil et Aiguille, La Couture or Le Mannequin), and culminating in the portraits of Juliet Browner and the latest version of Tapestry (realized 62 years after the first one), it could be possible to individuate, throughout Man Ray’s whole career, a certain influence coming from tailoring’s imagery – which seems to get materialized through objects, references, images appearing in different moments of the artist’s life, emerging and disappearing like a needle in a tissue, carrying back the discontinuous trail of the thread.