Once in Paris, Lee made her way to Man Ray’s studio at 31 bis rue Campagne-Première only to learn that Man Ray had left for the summer from the concierge. Upset by the news, Lee crossed the Boulevard Raspail and sat down at the corner cafe to have a Pernod with the owner and then she met Man Ray.
"He kind of rose up through the floor at the top of the circular staircase. He looked like a bull, with an extraordinary torso and very dark eyebrows and dark hair. I told him boldly that I was his new student. He said he didn’t take students, and that anyway he was leaving Paris for his holiday. I said, I know, I’m going with you - and I did".
In the twenties to be “done” by Man Ray meant you were somebody and he lived a luxurious lifestyle. He and the former “Madame Man Ray” as Kiki de Montparnasse was called by French society had split up the year before and so Man Ray was free to take his new American student who had a thing for older men to Biarritz for the summer. Before becoming “Lee Miller” she would first become the next Madame Man Ray.
And what fun she must have had. Man Ray who was the only photographer than André Breton considered a “Surrealist”,was completely in love with Lee, and was living the high life of fast cars and snappy dressing. Then came the stock market crash and suddenly no one could afford to have their portrait ”done” by Man Ray anymore and he sunk into depression.
Then one day Lee turned on the light and discover the process she and Man Ray (who was furious that Lee had “ruined” the negatives of Madamoiselle Solidor, but would later take credit for its discovery) would call solarization.
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