André Malraux
[Writer, critic, and politician, b. 1901, Paris, d. 1975, Paris.]

 The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of the earth and the galaxy of the stars but that in this prison we can fashion images of ourselves sufficiently powerful to deny our nothingness. 

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

 The compelling clarity with which a photograph recorded the trivial suggested that… it was in fact not trivial, but filled with undiscovered meaning. 

Luigi Ghirri
[Photographer, b. 1943, Scandiano, Italy, d. 1992, Reggio Emilia, Italy.]

 Photography has become an opaque layer, thick with images that are superimposed on reality itself—the debris of our age… 

Roger Ballen
[Photographer, b. 1950, New York, lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.]

 My purpose in taking photographs over the past forty years has ultimately been about defining myself. It has been fundamentally a psychological and existential journey. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 The photographer’s intentions do not determine the meaning of the photograph, which will have its own career, blown by the whims and loyalties of diverse communities that have use for it. 

Roland Barthes
[Writer, critic, and theorist, b. 1915, Cherbourg, d. 1980, Paris.]

 In an initial period, photography, in order to surprise, photographs the notable; but soon, by a familiar reversal, it decrees notable whatever it photographs. 

Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 [Photographs] are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you. (March, 1971, six months before her suicide) 

Vik Muniz
[Artist, b. 1961, Sao Paulo, Brazil, lives in New York.]

 The first century of photography was all about making a decent picture. After that, it was mostly about making something look decent or indecent in a picture. 
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