Publisher: Collection Clémentine
Size: 13 x 14 cm (approx.)
On the back of a Man Ray photograph one might find: his handwriting, signatures, monograms, grease pencil marks, pricing notations, customs and collector stamps, exhibition labels, dealer inventory numbers, handling, framing, and mounting instructions, glue stains, fingerprints, mount board remains, mount tissue, retouching instructions, registrar's notations, handwritten letters, printer instructions, dedications, directional notations, cropping marks, certifications, random numbers with circles and dashes, and of course the stamps: originals and copies, lifetime and posthumous, in pink, blue, purple, red, black, bold or faded, or embossed.
Though reluctant to admit it as a champion of Man Ray's photographs, often the verso can be more compelling than the recto. The hidden side is frequently rich with history, quietly revealing itself like pages of a journal.In contrast to the present day, the stamps scarcely affirm the Man Ray photograph as a valuable object, or work of art. There were no stamps that read "Please Return", nor "Handle With Care". When he wanted a photograph back, he wrote out such instruction in pencil in his most legible handwriting. The clients for Man Ray photographs were principally his sitters and the magazine industry. (Steven Manford)