… on Man Ray: The Artist and His Shadows by Arthur Lubow. (Hat tip, Dave Lull)
… the diminutive (5’2″), determined and affable Man Ray seemed to make friends with and be accepted as major player by everyone – at least in Paris. As for copying his work, he insisted that it’s the concept informing a work that matters, not the resulting hardware. Both he and Marcel Duchamp, the originator of Readymades and his lifelong friend and early collaborator, reproduced their art for sale as they aged. Man Ray said, “I have no compunction about this — an important book or musical score is not destroyed by burning it … An original is a creation motivated by desire. Any reproduction of an originals motivated be necessity. It is marvelous that we are the only species that creates gratuitous forms. To create is divine, to reproduce is human.”
He was born here in South Philly, but his family moved to Brooklyn when he was about 7.