Ed Ruscha
[Artist, b. 1937, Omaha, Nebraska, lives in Los Angeles.]

 The fact that few “painter-fine-artists” used photography in their work made it appealing. 
 Unfortunately, there was no Jackson Pollock of the camera. 
 My pictures are not that interesting, nor the subject matter. They are simply a collection of “facts;” my book is more like a collection of “Ready-mades.” 
 I just use [the camera]. I just pick it up like an axe when I’ve got to chop down a tree. I pick up a camera and go out and shoot the pictures I have to shoot. 
 Yes, there’s a certain power to a photograph. The camera has a way of disorienting a person, if it wants to and, for me, when it disorients, it’s got real value. 
 Above all, the photographs I use are not “arty” in any sense of the word. I think photography is dead as fine art; its only place is in the commercial world, for technical or information purposes. 
 I never take pictures just for the taking of pictures... I want the end product; that’s what I’m really interested in. It’s strictly a medium to use or not to use, and I use it only when I have to use it. I use it to do a job, which is to make a book. 
 When I first did the book on gasoline stations, people would look at it and say, “Are you kidding or what? Why are you doing this?” In a sense, that’s what I was after: I was after the head-scratching. 
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