Alvin Langdon Coburn
[Photographer, b. 1882, Boston, Massachusetts, d. 1966, Wales.]
Why should not the camera throw off the shackles of conventional representation? (1916)
[Photographer, b. 1925, Portland, Oregon, d. 2000, El Rito, New Mexico.]
To me, the great expedient is camera vision: the sensitive use of my own eyes under the higher vision of an understanding and intuition based on my own knowledge of a relationship to reality.
Crazy Horse (Tasunka Witko)
[Leader of the Oglala Sioux, b. 1849, Lakota lands, d. 1877, Fort Robinson, Nebraska.]
My friend, why should you wish to shorten my life by taking from me my shadow? (To photographer Dr. Valentine T. McGillycuddy.)
Anthony Aziz, Sammy Cucher
The buzz and excitement generated by media technologies are but a logical reaction in a culture steeped in materialism: it creates the illusion that we can reduce every mental act into matter, with no regard to how poor or incomplete that alchemy might be. As the technology progresses and the possibility of manipulating and communicating exclusively with images grows, mental spaces will be eradicated, fixed into flattened expanses of unambiguous surfaces.
[Artist, b. 1962, Boulder, Colorado, lives in New York.]
I’ve always found paintings of nudes depressing because they can’t compete with photographs. The grainiest photograph of some girl, a blurry Polaroid—you’d rather look at that than the Venus de Milo, because you think, “Wow, that’s really somebody... This camera really was in front of this real naked lady.”
Teilhard De Chardin
[Theologian, b. 1881, Auvergne, France, d. 1955, New York.]
It often happens that what stares us in the face is the most difficult to perceive.
[Poet and writer, b. 1899, Garrettsville, Ohio, d. 1932, ocean off the Florida coast.]
The eerie speed of the shutter is more adequate than the human eye to remember, catching even the transition of the mist-mote into the cloud, the though that is jetted from the eye to leave it instantly forever. Speed is at the bottom of it all—the hundredth of a second caught so precisely that the motion is continued from the picture infinitely: the moment made eternal.
[Artist, critic, and curator, b. 1920, London, d. 2003, New York.]
The principal thing is the question of how our culture views age: that old is ugly. Take a photographer like Mapplethorpe. Every single photograph of his is about classical notions of beauty, of young beautiful black men, young beautiful women, and he selects subjects who are essentially interesting and good-looking and extremely physical. I can’t stand them.