Why Man Ray and why now?
“I’ve loved Man Ray’s work since I was 12 years old, when I was struck by his daring creativity. I was surprised to discover that a lot of his pictures were taken in the Thirties and I was mesmerised by just how ahead of his time he was. He was daring and shocking and he had no taboos in the way he photographed people – the audacity he had in his work – this is why it made perfect sense for us to do something. To be daring, to be shocking, his love for photographing people… He loved taking portraits and that’s something that I love too. It’s my favourite thing: more than landscape, more than anything. That’s why it felt right to do the collaboration now. We decided to do collaborations with artists around five years ago, with the first one being Andy Warhol. Since then I have had a list of people that I have been dreaming about doing something with and now it’s time for Man Ray.”
Do you have a favourite Man Ray picture?
I love Le Violon D’Ingres. It’s the most iconic of Man Ray’s photographs. It’ll be displayed in-store when the collection launches. There is is also Les Larmes and Mode Au Congo, which shows Ady [Fideline], one of the first black models to be photographed in 1937. She was so amazing – it’s an incredible image. He photographed her over 40 times (she was his lover, muse and model). The surrealism in Man Ray’s pictures is similar to the way Guy Bourdin takes pictures. He always had a surrealist approach to photography, which took his images to a different level. They were both beyond fashion – that’s why their pictures look so modern today.
How did you pick which images to use?
We had access to hundreds of Man Ray pictures from the whole estate, so it was extremely hard to choose the 12 to 14 images we needed – you can imagine how tough it is to pick from such an incredible and wide choice! He was such an eclectic artist. From sculptures, to paintings, to photographs, we had to pick the ones that somehow translated to make-up, even if they were black and white photos. For projects like this I work with Fabien Baron on the edit and we nail it down together: I tell him my favourite ones, he tells me his and then we try to combine them and make something that makes sense in the context of make-up.
Which is your favourite piece from the collection?
“I love all of them! We worked so carefully on each product that it’s very hard to pick just one… But I do love the display on the packaging of the lipstick coffrets. Fabien came up with the idea and I really loved it because it’s so Man Ray and I love seeing the image through the lid. It’s also a box you can keep to put keepsakes in. You can remove the lipsticks and use it for jewellery, or as a weight, for anything, really. It’s so Man Ray. Fabien was very smart in doing that and I love that piece a lot.”
“The next collaboration you’ll be extremely excited to see because it relates directly to someone British. That’s all we can say! It’s somebody major in England… It’ll be next year and it’s going to be exciting and completely different. The artists are always of the same quality and standard and really striking and full of talent; it doesn’t matter what era they’re in but this British one is more contemporary. That’s really all I’m saying!”
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