Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]
It is not sociologists who provide insights but photographers of our sort who are observers at the very center of their times. I have always felt strongly that this was the photographer’s true vocation.
Photography in our time leaves us with a grave responsibility. While we are playing in our studios with broken flowerpots, oranges, nude studies and still lifes, one day we know that we will be brought to account: life is passing before our eyes without our ever having seen a thing.
What attracts the photographer is precisely the chance to penetrate inside phenomena, to uncover forms... He pursues them into their last refuges and surprises them at their most positive, their most material and true.
The surrealism of my pictures was nothing but the real made eerie by vision. I was trying to express reality, for there is nothing more surrealist.
... we photographers are nothing but a pack of crooks, thieves and voyeurs. We are to be found everywhere we are not wanted; we betray secrets that were never entrusted to us; we spy shamelessly on things that are not our business; And end up the hoarders of a vast quantity of stolen goods.
Chance is always there. We all use it. The difference is a poor photographer meets chance one out of a hundred times and a good photographer meets chance all the time.
Photography is the very conscience of painting. It constantly reminds the latter of what it must not do.
Only vividly perceived pictures can penetrate deeply into the memory, remain there, become unforgettable. For me this is the only criterion for a beautiful photograph.