Man Ray - Lee Miller
Type of Spiritual Experience
Historically, Miller has been described as Ray’s muse, however, their mercurial love affair from 1929 – 1932 was in fact a key source of mutual and sustained inspiration, resulting in some of the most powerful work of each of the artists career. Lee Miller began her career as a model in New York, famously discovered when Conde Nast rescued her from being run over. Rocketing to success, appearing at age nineteen, on the March 15 1927 cover of US Vogue. She became the darling muse to many a photographers eye. After tiring of modeling in New York, it was suggested to Miller that she might try photography herself, the stage was set for her to launch into Man Ray's studio.
Bored during a trip to Italy to study painting, she hopped on a train to Paris, traveled to Ray's studio and knocked on the door uninvited. She was told Ray had gone on holiday. Disappointed she wondered to the bar next door to soothe her sorrows, when Ray was spotted coming up the stairs by the bartender, he introduced himself and declared “I don’t have students”. He said he was leaving for Biarritz the next day, and she said, So I am I !
Both Man Ray and Lee Miller were artists of enormous originality and skill. Ray was not often driven to explore the inner character of his portrait subjects, Miller, by comparison, consistently made pictures with psychological charge.