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

 I wanted [my photography] to appear as though the camera was seeing by itself. 
 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. 
 ...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. 
 I used photography to distance myself from a world that I loathed and was powerless to improve. 
 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. 
 …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) 
 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 ideal photographic document would appear to be without author or art. 
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