[Writer, b. 1885, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England, d. 1930, Vence, France.]
The identifying of ourselves with the visual image of ourselves has become an instinct; the habit is already old. The picture of me, the me that is seen, is me. (1925)
Even an artist knows that his work was never in his mind. (Aphorism often quoted by photographer Emmet Gowin.)
As vision developed towards the Kodak, man’s idea of himself developed towards the snapshot. Primitive man simply didn’t know what he was: he was always half in the dark. But we have learned to see, and each of us has a complete Kodak idea of himself. (1925)
Tackle the world. Its [sic] a rather stupid bull, to be taken by the horns, not dodged. (To Edward Weston, 1924)
When van Gogh paints sunflowers, he reveals, or achieves, the vivid relation between himself, as man, and the sunflower, as sunflower, at that quick moment of time. His painting does not represent the sunflower itself. We shall never know what the sunflower itself is. And the camera will visualize the sunflower far more perfectly than van Gogh can.
Previously, even in Egypt, men had not learned to see straight. They fumbled in the dark, and didn’t quite know where they were, or what they were. Like men in a dark room, they only felt their existence surging in the darkness of other creatures. We, however, have learned to see ourselves for what we are, as the sun sees us. The Kodak bears witness.