He started making objects and developed unique mechanical and photographic methods of making images.For the 1918 version of Rope Dancer, he combined a spray-gun technique with a pen drawing.During this time, he worked steadily towards becoming a professional painter.Man Ray earned money as a commercial artist and was a technical illustrator at several Manhattan companies.
His first proto-Dada object, an assemblage titled Self-Portrait, was exhibited the following year.
He even refused to acknowledge that he ever had a name other than Man Ray. In early 1912, the Radnitzky family changed their surname to Ray.
Man Ray's brother chose the surname in reaction to the ethnic discrimination and antisemitism prevalent at the time.
He produced his first significant photographs in 1918.
Man Ray abandoned conventional painting to involve himself with Dada, a radical anti-art movement.