David Wojnarowicz
[Artist and activist, b. 1954, Redbank, New Jersey, d. 1990, New York.]

 No one can really explain in a rational way what makes a good photograph or a bad photograph... This is why the art world will not throw billions of dollars at photography the way it has at painting; and that is what makes it an exciting medium. 

Marshall McLuhan
[Writer and theorist, b. 1911, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, d. 1980, Toronto, Canada.]

 Photography turns people into things and their image into a mass consumer product. 

Edmundo Desnoes
[Writer, b. 1930, Havana, Cuba, lives in New York.]

 Images, the visual power of present-day capitalism, like the ritual constructions of ancient Egypt, are refined ways of inhibiting and crushing man. 

Geoffrey Batchen
[Photohistorian, b. 1956, Australia, lives in Wellington, New Zealand.]

 Remember that image of Truman holding up the premature issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune declaring his defeat by Dewey? It is in the Corbis catalogue. Remember Malcolm X pointing out over his crowd of listeners, the airship Hindenberg exploding in the New Jersey sky, that naked Vietnamese child running towards us after being burned by napalm, Churchill flashing his V-for-victory sign, Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Patty Hearst posing with her gun in front of the Symbionese Liberation Army banner, LBJ being sworn into office aboard Air Force One beside a blood-splattered Jackie? Corbis offers to lease us electronic versions of them all; it offers to sell us, in other words, the ability to reproduce our memories of our own culture, and therefore of ourselves. 

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

 There is always the danger of prostituting one’s gifts simply in order to live and to survive. The most difficult thing in life is to make money doing what you like to do. 

Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 Part of the difficulty in trying to be both an artist and a businessperson is this: You make a picture because you have seen something beyond price; then you are to turn and assign to your record of it a cash value. If the selling is not necessarily a contradiction of the truth in the picture, it is so close to being a contradiction—and the truth is always in shades of gray—that you are worn down by the threat. 

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

 Ninety-nine per cent of my work was advertising and crap. The people who were hiring me I didn’t like. Keeping a civil tongue up the rectum of a society that keeps you paid is an art which I was devoid of. I had nothing more to say in photographs. (1979, on why he quit photography) 

Wim Wenders
[Artist and filmmaker, b. 1945, Düsseldorf, lives in Berlin.]

 An image that is unseen can’t sell anything. It is pure, therefore true, beautiful, in one word: innocent. As long as no eye contaminates it, it is in perfect unison with the world. If it is not seen, the image and the object it represents belong together. 
quotes 1-8 of 147
page 1 of 19 next page last page
display quotes