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

 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 think being a photographer is a little like being a whore: if you’re really really good at it, nobody will call you that. 
 I used photography to distance myself from a world that I loathed and was powerless to improve. 
 I believed it was necessary to investigate photography, dismantle it, jettison all the non-essential components, and begin again with a stripped down but more powerful idea of what is, or could be “photographic.” 
 Photographs no longer provoke a meditation upon external phenomena, but on the conditions of their own existence. 
 I wanted [my photography] to appear as though the camera was seeing by itself. 
 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 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.” 
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