Observatory Time, The Lovers (Photograph)

Man Ray, 1936
Observatory Time, The Lovers (Photograph), Man Ray
Observatory Time, The Lovers (Photograph), zoomed in

Observatory Time, The Lovers (Photograph) is a Surrealist Photography Photographic Print created by Man Ray in 1936. It lives in a private collection. The image is used according to Educational Fair Use, and tagged The Nude in Art, Kiki of Montparnasse and erotic art. See Observatory Time, The Lovers (Photograph) in the Kaleidoscope

One of Man Ray’s most memorable paintings, Observatory Time, is featured in this black-and-white photograph, along with a nude. It includes a depiction of the lips of his departed lover, Lee Miller, floating in the sky above the Paris Observatory. In the photograph, the nude is lying on her side on a sofa underneath the painting, with a chessboard at her feet. Observatory Time hints at what the woman might be dreaming: a nightmare or an erotic fantasy. The lips in the picture were an inspiration for the logo of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and many other pop culture iconic images. The chessboard appears in many of the artist’s works—Duchamp, Picabia and Man Ray all loved playing chess. And Man Ray considered a grid of squares, “the basis for all art... it helps you to understand the structure, to master a sense of order.” He also made chess set designs and photographs of chessboards, pieces and players.

Reed Enger, "Observatory Time, The Lovers (Photograph)," in Obelisk Art History, Published March 19, 2015; last modified October 11, 2022, http://www.arthistoryproject.com/artists/man-ray/observatory-time-the-lovers-photograph/.

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