Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]

 The ‘Surrealism’ of my images was just reality itself, but made Fantastic through vision. 
 To shut oneself away in photography: what estrangement, what reclusion, what discipline!... [Photography] demands a purification without which no object lets us into its heart of hearts. Thus does one turn into a photosensitive coating. 
 Surreality lies within ourselves, in objects that have become banal because we no longer see them, in the normality of the normal. 
 It was obvious that, come what may, I had to free myself from photography. I had always considered photography to be a mere springboard to my real self but, lo and behold, the springboard would not let me go. Sometimes I was close to despair. 
 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. 
 In the absence of a subject with which you are passionately involved, and without the excitement that drives you to grasp it and exhaust it, you may take some beautiful pictures, but not a photographic oeuvre. 
 My ambition was always to show aspects of daily life as if we were seeing them for the first time. 
 During my first years in Paris, beginning in 1924, I lived at night, going to bed at sunrise, getting up at sunset, wandering about the city from Montparnasse to Montmartre. And even though I had always ignored and even disliked photography before, I was inspired to become a photographer by my desire to translate all the things that enchanted me in the nocturnal Paris I was experiencing. 
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