Lewis Baltz
[Photographer, b. 1945, Newport Beach, California, d. 2014, Paris.]

 I assumed from the outset that photography was already art, and that I and other people working in photography were artists. I understand now that this was a minority point of view. 
 …the questioning of the photograph in its relation to the reality, the interrogation of representation, the famous crisis of representation, really all took place before digital technology. Digital technology, you see, is not the villain here. (1998) 
 If you read what, say, Weston was writing in the 1920s he talked about an industrial medium, reflective surfaces, contemporary subject matter—it’s a straighter line to [Ed] Ruscha’s 26 Gas Stations than it would ever be to Ansel Adam’s pictures of Yosemite and their kitschy calendar sensibility. 
 I was living in Monterey, a place where the classic photographers—the Westons, Wynn Bullock and Ansel Adams—came for a privileged view of nature. But my daily life very rarely took me to Point Lobos or Yosemite; it took me to shopping centers, and gas stations and all the other unhealthy growth that flourished beside the highway. It was a landscape that no one else had much interest in looking at. Other than me. 
 The world was already in the condition of art, waiting to be noticed as such. As Robert Irwin famously said, “I feel like a man sitting beside a river selling water.” 
 I wanted [my photography] to appear as though the camera was seeing by itself. 
 I never had any profound loyalty to the idea of photography as a medium but simply as the most efficient way of making or recording an image. 
 Photographs no longer provoke a meditation upon external phenomena, but on the conditions of their own existence. 
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