Amazing Photographic Portraits of Dora Maar by Man Ray (1936)

Dora Maar (1907 – 1997) was a French photographer, painter, and poet. She was a lover and muse of Pablo Picasso.

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Amazing Surreal Photomontages by Grete Stern II

Grete Stern (1904–99) began taking private classes with Walter Peterhans―soon to become head of photography at the Bauhaus―in Berlin in 1927. Stern is best known as half of Foto Ringl + Pit, the innovative advertising and design studio she founded in Berlin in 1929 with her fellow Bauhaus alumna Ellen Auerbach.

In 1932 Stern met fellow photographer Horacio Coppola at the Bauhaus. In 1933 they emigrated to London where they married. Two years later in 1935 they settled in Coppola’s native Argentina. Two months after arriving they presented what the magazine Sur called

“the first serious exhibition of photographic art in Buenos Aires”

The exhibition comprised work produced in Germany and London. For a while Stern and Coppola tried operating a studio in Buenos Aires. It didn´t work out and the couple divorced in 1943. After a brief return to England, Stern settled in Argentina to raise a family, her daughter Silvia and her son Andrés.

Among Stern’s most significant accomplishments are her Dreams (Sueños). In 1948 Stern started illustrating women´s dreams for a women’s magazine column titled “El psicoanálisis le ayudará” (“Psychoanalysis will help you”). Over the course of three years Stern created 140 witty photomontages, where she portrayed women’s oppression and submission in Argentine society with sarcastic and surreal images. The photomontage was an ideal way for Stern to express her ideas about the dominant values.

She became a citizen of Argentina in 1958.

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 43: Untitled,  1949 via

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Ringl + Pit, Hat and Gloves, 1930 via

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Grete Stern, Dream via

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 Grete Stern, Dream No. 20: Perspective via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 46: Estrangement via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 44: The Accused via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 13: Consent via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 41: The Phone Call via

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Grete Stern, Dream via

Amazing Vintage Surreal Glamour by photographer Angus McBean

Angus McBean (8 June 1904 – 9 June 1990) was a Welsh photographer, set designer and cult figure associated with surrealism.

Two figures have prevented McBean from gaining more fame: Cecil Beaton (thanks to his lavish lifestyle and work for Vogue and the British Royal Family); and David Bailey, who much later (1960s) was close to Cecil Beaton both personally and in terms of style.

McBean did not enjoy this level of fame either in his life or after death, even though he was arguably the better technically and artistically.

Additionally McBean’s focus on the world of theatre (particularly London’s West End) did not give him international recognition.

In 2007, seven original colour transparencies (slides) of his photographs for the Beatles album cover Please Please Me by McBean were accidentally thrown in the bin at the headquarters of EMI.

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Marlene Dietrich, “No Highway in the Sky” by Angus Mcbean Pinewood Studios, 1951 via

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Audrey Hepburn by Angus Mcbean via

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Vivien Leigh as Aurora by Angus McBean, 1938 via

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 Hermione Baddeley by Angus McBean, 1938 Gelatin via

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Marika Rivera by Angus Mcbean via

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Dorothy Dickson by Angus Mcbean, 1938 via fotographiaonline.com via

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Beatrice Lillie by Angus McBean, 1940s via

Surrealist Muse Nusch Éluard – Photos by Dora Maar

Nusch Éluard (born Maria Benzn; 1906 – 1946) was a French performer, model and surrealist artist.

Born in Mulhouse (then part of the German Empire), she met Swiss architect and artist Max Bill in the Odeon Café in Zurich; he nicknamed her “Nusch”, a name she would stick to.

She moved to Paris in 1928 working as a stage performer, variously described as a small-time actress, a traveling acrobat, and a “hypnotist‘s stooge”. in In 1930 she met the poet Paul Éluard working as a model. They married him in 1934. She produced surrealist photomontage and other work, and is the subject of “Facile,” a collection of Éluard’s poetry published as a photogravure book, illustrated with Man Ray’s nude photographs of her.

She was also the subject of several cubist portraits and sketches by Pablo Picasso in the late 1930s, and is said to have had an affair with him. Nusch worked for the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. She died in 1946 in Paris, collapsing in the street due to a massive stroke.

Dora Maar – Nusch Eluard, c. 1935

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Nusch Eluard (couchée à plat ventre sur la plage), 1936-37 Photo by Dora Maar ©

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Dora Maar, Nusch Eluard, 1935

The “Astonishing Works” by 1930s Muse Dora Maar

The Surrealist photographer Dora Maar (1907-1997) is better known as Picasso’s dark-haired model, muse and companion in the late 1930s than for her astonishing works, although she was an artist in her own right and was a famous photographer before she met Picasso.

She was born Henriette Theodora Markovitch in Tours, Western France to a Jewish family. Her father, Josip Marković, was a Croat architect, famous for his work in South America; her mother, Julie Voisin, was from Touraine, France. Dora grew up in Argentina.

In 1927, Dora Maar had begun studying painting in Paris, but quickly switched to photography at the École de Photographie de la Ville de Paris. She supported herself in the 1920s and 1930s as a commercial photographer. While still in her twenties, she had managed to make a reputation in Paris for her fashion and advertising photographs. She then moved toward surrealism under the guidance of Paul Éluard, the poet, and Man Ray, the surrealist photographer. She was with Éluard at the Deux Magots café when Picasso noticed her and asked to be introduced. She was 29 years old and he 54.

Her first photography exhibition was at the Galerie de Beaune in Paris, in 1937. It has been said that Maar understood better than any artist of her time the naturalism of Surrealism. She knew that there was far more within every image, every person and place, than could possibly be described, that “interior vision” is more than matched by what is outside ourselves.

However, in the late 1930s she had a change of heart. She gave up on her photography entirely and returned to painting. This was at least partly because Picasso felt the former to be an inferior, or perhaps non-existent, art medium. Eventually Picasso left Dora Maar in the mid-1940s, for someone else. Their breakup left her in a severe depression, which followed a long reclusion that covered the last forty years of her life, until her death in 1997. She did continue to write poetry and to paint, and, in the 1980s, she revisited her photographic work.

The Years Lie in Wait for You (Dora Maar, 1936)

The Years Lie in Wait for You (Dora Maar, 1936)

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Leonor Fini 1936 photo by Dora Maar

Dora Maar, Double Portrait, 1930

Dora Maar, Sans Titre (Main-coquillage), 1934

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011 © Kunstsammlung NRW

Amazing Surreal Photomontages by Grete Stern

Grete Stern (1904-1999) was German born but adopted Argentine nationality after living in the country for 23 years.

In 1948 Stern was offered the unusual assignment of providing photos for a column on the interpretation of dreams in the popular weekly women’s magazine Idilio. The column, entitled “Psychoanalysis Will Help You,” was a response to dreams sent in by readers, mostly working-class women. It was written under the pseudonym Richard Rest by renowned sociologist Gino Germani, who later became a professor at Harvard University. The result was a series of about one hundred and fifty photomontages produced between 1948 and 1951 that show Stern’s avant-garde spirit. In these photomontages she portrays women’s oppression and submission in Argentine society with sarcastic and surreal images. The photomontage was an ideal way for Stern to express her ideas about the dominant values.

It has been claimed that the motivating semiotic principle behind Grete Stern’s photomontages is the need to create a language for women’s dreams; this language may be, in a first instance, sympathetic with the repression and oppres­sion of women, and in a second instance it may be critical of the pscyhoanalytic project with regard to women’s experience.

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