Rayographs

Photographer Man Ray was famous, in part, for his Rayographs (a.k.a. photograms), where he placed objects directly on to silver gelatin paper, exposed the paper, and then developed it. It’s something I’ve never been too interested in, I’d definitely rather print from a negative than make a Rayograph, but I still admire some of the prints people have made with the technique.

Below are a couple things I did out of boredom back in the darkroom days. The first is a plain osheaograph (sorry), of me holding a cassette, and the second was made by putting a negative into the enlarger to fill the white space left by my hand after exposing the paper to light. They lack any content, but I’ll try to come up with some sort of BS since that ‘s generally what people do to embellish something that’s evidently thoughtless:

*In my first osheaograph, I wanted to express the death of the cassette by using the dying medium of darkroom printing to recreate its image. I’m holding the cassette gently, at the tips of my fingers… it’s almost falling out… but if it falls and breaks, does it matter? If a cassette falls in the darkroom, does a hipster add it to their collection? Would a stereo pick up the music on the tape if it’s just covered in dust, or would one hear the sound of dust? I feel connected to this forgotten object, and I wanted to establish this connection through art.

*This osheaograph is very special. No one has ever used this technique before. I am original. I created it. I used the classic hand pose from DaVinci’s The Creation of Adam to show that I am like Adam, because I have a hand, and I am like God, because I create things. I printed from a negative that looks like energy flowing through the hand, but it is actually wheat, which creates energy in the body when consumed. Energy and wheat are inseparable, as are creating, and myself.

* = Sarcasm asterisk. I don’t have anything against hipsters, and I don’t have a God-Complex.

5 thoughts on “Rayographs

  1. “I am like Adam, because I have a hand …” haha, brilliant. Those are actually pretty interesting images, very graphic. I feel like you could make a Black Keys promotional poster with the first one.

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