Danny Lyon
[Photographer, b. 1942, New York, lives in Ulster County, New York.]

 The pictures do not ask you to “help” these people, but something much more difficult; to be briefly, intensely aware of their existence, an existence as real and significant as your own. 
 In the collages you can have drama, a beginning, middle, and end, all kinds of things you can’t have in a photograph alone. I mean, I love Walker Evans’ photographs, they’re perfect and I adore them, but life goes on. He made those pictures in the ‘30s, and here we are sixty years later... But it’s hard for me to say, “The single photograph is dead.” That would be pretentious and silly. 
 To me these people might live on the edge of existence, more extreme lives than others, but they also have more feeling and more reality about them. 
 My thirteen-year-old has a sign on his wall that reads “Corporate Rock Sucks.” Well now there's something called “Corporate Photography.” It’s corporations calling the shots in the world of photography. If Kodak is behind you they’ll make six copies of your exhibit, with prints big enough to sleep on and put full-page ads in the New York Times. So the corporations, who already own the media, have now bought up photography. 
 The most unsafe place to be, whether people are using rocks or bullets, is between the lines. You must choose a side, if for no other reason than to have a firm spot on which to stand and a moment’s peace to focus. 
 Being a father is by far the hardest thing I ever did. I used to think it was hard to be an artist. Forget it. It’s duck soup. 
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