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

 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. 
 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.” 
 Unfortunately, there was no Jackson Pollock of the camera. 
 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. 
 The fact that few “painter-fine-artists” used photography in their work made it appealing. 
 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. 
 There were no rules to be written, and no rules to be followed in the same sense that there are in painting and sculpture and other forms of art. 
 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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