Paul Outerbridge
[Photographer, b. 1896, New York, d. 1958, Laguna Beach, California.]

 [A photograph] should do something to the beholder; either give a more complete appreciation of beauty, or, if nothing else, even a good mental kick in the pants. 
 The business of the state trying to legislate modesty is relatively both an infantile and ridiculous procedure. Of course, it is true that the more things are secreted the more intriguing they become, because it is always the forbidden that has the strongest appeal. Nudity is a state of fact—lewdity a state of mind. 
 What this country needs is more and better nudes. 
 The advantages of photographing the nude are few because nudes have very little, in fact practically no commercial value. The disadvantages are many because it is the most difficult thing to do from every point of view. 
 If exposure of a nude body is thought to incite relations between the sexes, well, what of it. We want a large population anyway. 
 Art is life seen through man’s inner craving for perfection and beauty—his escape from the sordid realities of life into a world of his imagining. Art accounts for at least a third of our civilization, and it is one of the artist’s principal duties to do more than merely record life or nature. To the artist is given the privilege of pointing the way and inspiring towards a better life. 
 I had a growing feeling that most of the best art of the world in painting and sculpture had been done, and that this newest form [photography] was more related to the progress and tempo of modern science of the eye. 
 Now, whereas we do not find it hard to accept the beauty of a flower for itself alone, in present-day, mechanical-industrial civilization, people will usually question the use of a picture. Things are estimated much more for what they do or will do than for what they are or will become... . 
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