Man Ray: the Marquise Casati, 1922
Physical likeness in this image is very much of a surrealist nature, the likeness to the actual face we have duplication of the eyes, we also have two separate prints one which is a negative and of course is the traditional way that we would usually see an image, there are two images of likeness one that perhaps we see with the human eye, one which the camera sees that is subsequently processed as the print. We also see evidence of a lot of grain making it less discernible, reduction in detail is noticeable but the features are very prominent, making the features the main focus of the image, this presentation would be slightly different to the way they perhaps should be seen by the human eye. As seen through the lens. We do of course still have the physical likeness of the person because we are still able to determine the features the structure of the face, their complexion, perhaps, the colour of skin and hair, the darkness of the eyes which essentially we can only see structured shadows which are limited to black and white; if displayed in colour would have a different dimension. We can see the monochrome values of their likeness. We can of course understand the typology used by Man Ray by the negative and nonnegative as they are composed to merge as a piece and so he is also replicated this style of photographs duplicated eyes we can start to look at people in a different way and changes the perspective, in this surrealist vision that Man Ray displays. We are able to see the physical features of the person but we are not able to connect with their personality as they are a very rigid and emotionless format for Man Ray’s purposes and therefore not pertaining to the model’s audience.
The first Bill Brandt image shows the newspaper as a prop this aids as informing the audience that he is well informed regarding the extrinsic world, not this helps to imply that he is educated but of course he is engaged with the audience as opposed to the newspaper. The subject appears melancholic like they have just read the most shocking, destructive, powerful article that he’s experiencing critical debate within his head. So we start to wonder as the viewer, how significant the prop has become, the depiction embroiders the straight and mundane reflecting our preconceived ideas of an educated, informed man there is no need to justify himself to an audience the traits are already evident. The image sequence has kept the high contrast in grain of the monochrome, all images showing literally black and white and lack grey or fine detail. They are all composed in a typology of composition. Conversely the second image the model is off centre and there are always other objects within the image as alternate focus they are distracted and disconnected displaying an emotionless face we are drawn to the image as a reflection and contemplative image the extra dimensions add to its surreal quality.