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

 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.” 
 ...you don’t put an object in a museum because it’s beautiful; an object is beautiful because you put it in a museum. Everything is photogenic once it has been photographed. 
 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. 
 Photographs no longer provoke a meditation upon external phenomena, but on the conditions of their own existence. 
 I used photography to distance myself from a world that I loathed and was powerless to improve. 
 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. 
 The ideal photographic document would appear to be without author or art. 
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