Francis Picabia was born in 1879 in Paris. Both his parents came from prominent European families, and Picabia was raised in an affluent household. Picabia was one of the principle figures of the Dada movement both in Paris and New York. A friend and associate of Marcel Duchamp, he became known for a rich variety of work ranging from strange, comic-erotic images of machine parts to text-based paintings that foreshadow aspects of Conceptual art. Picabia remains revered by contemporary painters as one of the century's most intriguing and inscrutable artists. He was known as "Papa Dada,"
In the 1910s, Picabia shared the interests of a number of artists who emerged in the wake of Cubism, and Dada work, For Picabia, humans were nothing but machines, ruled not by their rational minds, but by a range of compulsive hungers.
Picabia was central to the Dada movement when it began to emerge in Paris in the early 1920s. He began to use text in his pictures and collages and to create more explicitly scandalous images attacking conventional notions of morality, religion, and law. While the work was animated by the Dada movement's rage against the European culture that had led to the carnage of World War I. .
Figurative imagery was central to Picabia's work from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s, when he was inspired by Spanish subjects, Romanesque and Renaissance sources, images of monsters, and, later, nudes found in soft porn magazines. Picabia rejected any association with the Surrealists, he steadfastly refused to explain their content. Picabia always handled these motifs with the same playful and anarchic spirit that had animated his Dada work. After World War I Picabia wrote that "the machine has become more than a mere adjunct of life. It is really a part of human life...perhaps the very soul...I have enlisted the machinery of the modern world, and introduced it into my studio." ( Francis Picabia - Transparence)
Erwin Blumenfeld was born in Berlin, was a German artist and photographer, best known for his contributions to the fashion industry between 1940s and 50s. Moreover, he made collages and drawing in Dada style.
In 1932, Erwin Blumenfeld found a darkroom completely equipped, so he began photographing the female clientele of this store. The first exhibition of his work was at a local gallery of Carl van Lier.
In 1936, his store went bankrupt and following this he went to Paris. The photographer was commissioned to make portraits of people who came from the art world, such as Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault etc. In 1941, they went to New York and on arrival Harper’s Bazaar hired him on a contract. He worked with Bazaar for three consecutive years and then started working as a freelancer for Vogue, America.
By the 1950s, it was reported that he was the highest paid photographers around the world. Many models worked with him and among them were Lisa Fonssagrives and Carmen Dell’Orefice. Blumenfeld’s work was influenced by personalities like Man Ray, George Grosz, and Lucas Cranach. He used many different photography techniques, such as double exposure, sandwich printing, solarisation, veils and mirrors.
Erwin Blumenfeld’s work has been exhibited around the world in locations, like New York’s Witkin Gallery, 1978; Paris’s Centre Georges Pompidou, 1982; London’s Barbican Centre, 1996; Netherland’s Haque Museum of Photography, 2006; Germany’s Museum Folwang, and London’s Somerset House, 2013 etc.
'Smokers', by Erwin Blumenfeld
Dadaist Film 'Ghosts Before Breakfast', by Hans Richter -1928