artist: Man Ray

title: Francis Picabia Imitating Rodin's Statue of Balzac

year: 1923

size: 9 1/2" x 7 1/16"

process: vintage gelatin silver print

marks: signed and noted "Paris" by Man Ray, lower right on mount

exhibitions: "Perpetual Motif: the Art of Man Ray", Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American Art, December 2, 1988-January 7, 1990

curator's notes: Timothy Baum told me that Man Ray, Picabia and a group of surreasilists were out having a good time. They went back to Man Ray's apartment and were pretty drunk. Picabia was known as a man with great appetites of all sorts. So was Balzac. Man Ray convinced Picabia to take his shirt off and imitate Balzac. The result was this photograph of Picabia imitating Balzac while at Man Ray's apartment. This photograph was a must because of the collection's final study of Balzac and the other photgraphs relating to this great sculpture. This one had real personality.