The artist reserves the painting for the dream images and preferentially uses photography for the compositions based on reality. This champion of eroticism regrets the lack of colors in art photography. The autochrome and the dufaycolor are only usable in small size. Man Ray tries the best trichrome process but abandons immediately because the technical difficulty slows down the creativity.
Man Ray then tries the colored pencils over black and white prints. At the very beginning of photography, the miniaturists converted their business into photography by watercoloring edition photos, bringing an illusion of realism that appealed to customers. The experiment by Man Ray is a rare application in his time of a similar practice in large format.
On October 19 in Paris, Sotheby's sells Tearful woman, black and white silver print 23 x 18 cm realized and hand colored by Man Ray and dated 1935, lot 31 estimated € 300K.
The colors are varied and charming. The facial skin is smooth and pink. Under the carefully made up eyebrows, the eyes look upward, filled to the wet just before the tears drop. The deep red mouth is half open, showing that the gaze expresses emotion and not grief. The identity of the model is unknown.
According to Sotheby's press release, only one other print is extant. Dated 1936 and of the same format as the photo for sale by Sotheby's, it had belonged to Robert Mapplethorpe. It was sold by Christie's on May 17, 2017 for $ 2.17M including premium over a lower estimate of $ 400K.
This attempt was not really followed. The technical progress of color photography suggests for soon more direct processes. The Kodachrome for slides in cinema format is released in 1935 and the negative Kodacolor film in 1942. However, it was not until the 1970s that William Eggleston launched the color photo art.
SOLD for € 750K including premium