Friday, October 07, 2011

Right hand Man

Albert Lewin (the director who got Ivan Albright to knock up the picture part of The Picture of Dorian Gray) was also a good friend of the American artist Man Ray. In 1950 the movie Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, one of Lewin last productions, also gave him the opportunity to bring his artist friend onto the team. Initially Man Ray was hired to take colour photographs of the film’s star Ava Gardner and one of these did appear in the film as a miniature portrait. Man Ray was also asked to paint a portrait of the star to serve as the canvas completed by the movie's other big star James Mason who was playing the Flying Dutchman. As it turned out Man Ray’s painting never made it on to the screen elbowed out by a de Chirico-like product painted by the movie's set designer Ferdinand Bellan.

Images: Top to bottom left to right, Man Ray’s famous photographic portrait of Ava Gardner, Man Ray painting Gardner’s portrait for the movie, James Mason doing his actor art thing, the actual portrait of Gardner used in Pandora and the Flying Dutchman and one of Man Ray’s photographic portraits presented as a painted miniature in the film.