Andreas Gursky
[Photographer, b. 1955, Leipzig, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf.]

 In retrospect I can see that my desire to create abstractions has become more and more radical. Art should not be delivering a report on reality, but should be looking at what’s behind something. 

Stephen Shore
[Photographer, b. 1947, New York, lives in New York.]

 It’s the bane of my existence that I see photography not as a way of recording personal experience particularly, but as this process of exploring the world and the medium. I have to be reminded, “It’s your son’s birthday party. Bring a camera.” And then, when I’m there, “Take a picture,” because it doesn’t occur to me to use it as this memorializing thing. 

John Szarkowski
[Curator, critic, historian, and photographer, b. 1925, Ashland, Wisconsin, d. 2007, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.]

 I am not especially interested in anonymous photography, or avant-garde photography, or in straight, crooked, or any other subspecific category; I am interested in the entire, indivisible hairy beast—because in the real world, where photographs are made, these subspecies, or races, interbreed shamelessly and continually. (2006) 

Robert Rauschenberg
[Artist, b. 1925, Port Arthur, Texas, d. 2008, Captiva Island, Florida.]

 One gets as much information as a witness of activity from a fleeting glance, like a quick look, sometimes in motion, as one does staring at the subject. Because even if you remain stationary, your mind wanders, and it’s that kind of activity that I would like to get into the photograph. 

Samuel Butler
[Writer, b. 1835, Langar Rectory, Nottinghamshire, England, d. 1902, London.]

 There is a photographer in every bush, going about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. 

Charis Wilson
[Model, b. 1914, San Francisco, d. 2009, Santa Cruz, California.]

 I knew I really didn’t look that good, and that Edward [Weston] had glorified me, but it was a very pleasant thing to be glorified and I couldn’t wait to go back for more. 

William Klein
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, lives in Paris.]

 So who can pin down photography? We’re drunk with images. [Sontag’s] sick of it. I’m sick of it. But we’re moved by old amateur photographs because they aren’t concerned about theories of photography or what a picture must be. They’re just photographs without rules or dogma. 

Brian Duffy
[Photographer, b. 1933, London, d. 2010, London.]

 I thought, Gawd this looks dead easy compared to the drawing lark. I’ll give this a whiz. Take up photography as an easy way to make money. Just my sort of thing—women, gadgets, clothes—I must have a go at it.