John Coplans
[Artist, critic, and curator, b. 1920, London, d. 2003, New York.]

 The principal thing is the question of how our culture views age: that old is ugly. Take a photographer like Mapplethorpe. Every single photograph of his is about classical notions of beauty, of young beautiful black men, young beautiful women, and he selects subjects who are essentially interesting and good-looking and extremely physical. I can’t stand them. 
 My photographs recall the memories of the human race. 
 I have the feeling that I’m alive, I have a body. I’m seventy years old, and generally bodies of seventy-year-old men look somewhat like mine. It’s a neglected subject matter. If I accept the cultural situation, I’m a dead man. So I’m using my body and saying, even though it’s a seventy-year-old body, I can make it extremely interesting. That keeps me alive and gives me vitality. It’s a kind of process of energizing myself by belief that the classical tradition of art that we’ve inherited from the Greeks is a load of bullshit.