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Man Ray, L’albero è una rosa, 1969

Man Ray
L’albero è una rosa
, 1969

silkscreen, 63 × 93 cm

This screenprint reworks a drawing published by Man Ray in 1937 in the collection of poems Les Mains libres by his poet friend Paul Éluard. In constructing the image Man Ray plays, as usual, on a double register of linguistic ambiguity and erotic allusion, mechanisms that make his work extremely fascinating and effective. On the one hand, in fact, he underlines the duplicity of the word rose, which indicates both a color and a flower. However, although the tree appears transfigured into a rose, its color is not pink, or in any case it is not one of the colors that roses normally take on in nature, but rather green like a tree. On the other hand, the petal-leaves of the tree, depicted with sensual clarity and fleshiness, immediately recall lips, those same lips that return so many times in Man Ray's paintings from the 1930s.