These are not tired old quotes scammed from online sources and passed around like stale donuts at a committee meeting. This collection is the uniquely flavored creation of a single intelligence. It is not a group effort or a corporate product.
This collection of quotations emerged from a love of photography. As an artist, Quoteman naturally transformed collecting photo quotations into an art project. It’s intended to aid education, using that word in its broadest sense: questioning, wandering, discovering. Welcome. Plunge in. Be challenged. Get smart. Cause trouble.
Photographers are collectors, pecking at the world, gathering its strange fragments. Their photographs become independent objects for trade, sale and barter in the economy of meaning. “To collect photographs is to collect the world,” said Susan Sontag. Similarly, to collect photo quotations is to collect the world of photography. In truth, these quotations illuminate photography more than most photographs.
You’ll find thousands of fresh quotes, with more added constantly. They’re gathered from a life in art—reading, travel, exhibiting, attending colloquia, and an ongoing engagement in the seething quibbles of the photo field. A photo addiction produced a quote obsession.
This collection of words describes and dissects a purely visual art form. Even Quoteman admits this is inherently peculiar. After all, “Whatever it is about pictures, photographs, it’s just about impossible to follow up with words. They don’t have anything to do with each other,” states William Eggleston. But wait, perhaps Eggleston is dead wrong. Maybe, as Walker Evans says, photography is actually “the most literary of the graphic arts.”
Whatever you believe, one thing is clear: a lover of quotations becomes an admirer of argument and rumpus, attack and counterattack. Quote lovers come to relish supple thought, crisp metaphor, and clever turn of phrase. People who love quotations compound their interests. They don’t just love the subject at hand—in this case photography—they also delight in original thought and persuasive language. Finally, quote lovers learn to simultaneously embrace utterly contradictory ideas. Ultimately, the best are able to say, “Okay contradictory ideas, get close, do a slow dance on my mental dance floor.”
This website is a design collaboration between Quoteman and leadingzeros Los Angeles. Deep coding and fetishistic database wrangling by kwando. Site structure, keywording, categories, and concept can be blamed entirely on Quoteman. We hope you’ll find the site clean, stylish, and smoothly functional. We like to think of it as a beautiful frame that stays out of the way and features the art. You may be aware that there are other quotation websites in the world, even a few that focus on photography. Take a look. Most are shallow in thought, limited in selection, and commercial in motivation. Possibly worse, they are badly designed and cheesily organized. Quoteman loves photography, so he aims higher.
Who is Quoteman?
Quoteman is an artist with a finely honed point-of-view, but he is more omnivorous than narrow. Yes, he has three university degrees, but generally agrees with Oscar Wilde’s comment: “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.” Yes, he has taught college photography, but concurs with Harry Callahan: “I really didn't have much to teach. I didn't even believe in it. I felt so strongly that everybody had to find their own way.” Yes, he’s a lifelong photographer, although he thinks Brassaï is correct: “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.” Yes, he’s based in southern California, though he agrees with photographer Lewis Baltz who says, “I never did [understand L.A.], really: I always believed that God would destroy L.A. for its sins. Finally I realized that he had already destroyed it and left it around as a warning.” Yes, he’s an artist who exhibits internationally, but attributes that success to the fact that his main love is relentlessly making new work.