I went to the Man Ray portrait exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. I like Man Ray’s work so I was excited to go. It was laid out through the different eras of his life for example Paris, New York and Hollywood. I felt it would have been better laid out if each era was in a separate rooms because the photos merge together and it is hard to separate the photographs from each era. Also this would allow this idea of a journey between each room like you are going on the journey too as there are a lot of physical space between each city Ray went to. I felt there were a lot of photos to take in so if there was a space to walk without photos it would allow a break. The space was quite small and it was probably unfortunate that there were a number of people in the exhibition so I felt like I needed some space.
I particularly liked the photos he took of Lee Miller, Kay Boyle and Catherine Deneuve (in the Times Magazine article). I felt the images were simple for example the one of Kay Boyle had an extremely low depth of field where only the time of Boyle’s nose is in focus. There is another photo of Ray’s earlier work of a woman sitting with her heard in her hands but he positioned her in the bottom left of the frame. There is a photograph of Lee Miller which has been solarized, I thought it was really interesting seeing the tone of a portrait change and this is something I was to try myself.
We went to the Photographers Gallery in London the top floor was on collages the two artists that stood out for me were Roy Arden and Clune Reid. Reid’ work was huge, it took up a whole wall of twelve A2 size collages. The work is said to thrown “our image worlds into sharp, critical light” unfortunately I did not see how it does. I felt it is just some small photos with drawings, stickers and tape around them. I felt it looked like a child had done the work, had no appreciation where this idea lay in the work. I didn’t understand how small images, all of which were found imagery and not all of the pieces of paper had photos could be put into a photographer’s gallery. However, Roy Arden’s work was all found imagery but at least the whole of it was photos and I felt it fitted its description the “subject matter is more likely to be trauma, desire or violence” I felt this was true because the photos represented it. For instance one of the collages depicted a boy hunching over looking scared with a huge spider, even looking at the photo I felt quite scared. Arden’s set of photographs, I felt, belonged more in a photographers gallery as all the collages are mage of photos.