One of the great visual artists, Man Ray was born Emmanuel Radnitzky and comes from South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was interested in art from a young age and regularly visited art museums to study the old masters. Initially he worked in advertising as a commercial artist and a technical illustrator, to pay his way while he worked towards his goal of becoming a painter. He studied at the Ferrer School of Art. He worked in a range of media, including photography and sculpture, and drew inspiration from a range of different influences, such as Cubism and the flat forms and vivid colours of the Dada and Surrealist movements.
Man Ray developed innovative methods as his career developed, including airbrushing on glass and combining a spray gun technique with pen drawing. During the 1920s, Man Ray moved to Paris, where he went on to live for 20 years. He worked with his friend and collaborator Marcel Duchamp and brought European art influences to America. During his time in Europe, Man Ray became a renowned photographer and worked with many famous subjects, such as Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein and Jean Cocteau. During the 1930s he began working in cinematography, and in the 1940s returned to the USA to work as a Hollywood fashion photographer and painter. In 1958 he held a solo exhibition at the Copey Galleries in Beverly Hills.