Ed Ruscha
[Artist, b. 1937, Omaha, Nebraska, lives in Los Angeles.]

 When I first did the book on gasoline stations, people would look at it and say, “Are you kidding or what? Why are you doing this?” In a sense, that’s what I was after: I was after the head-scratching. 

Walter Benjamin
[Philosopher, critic, and theorist, b. 1892, Berlin, d. 1940, Port Bou, France.]

 No poem is intended for the reader, no picture for the beholder, no symphony for the listener. 

Shirin Neshat
[Artist, photographer, and filmmaker, b. 1957, Qazvin, Iran, lives in New York.]

 Beautiful woman wrapped in chadors, with huge machine guns in their hands. Brilliant, shocking, amazingly contradictory images. They compelled me to deeply investigate these ideas. 

Andy Warhol
[Artist, b. 1928, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, d. 1987, New York.]

 I just [take pictures] because the camera is something to carry around in my pocket. 

Anders Petersen
[Photographer, b. 1944, Solna, Sweden, lives in Stockholm.]

 That 15th of a second. Once you’ve been there, you keep on wanting to get back. 

Sandy Skoglund
[Photographer, b. 1946, Quincy, Massachusetts, lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.]

 The idea of making [conceptual] art was not a good way to approach things... Instead I saw myself as trying to make something that my relatives could understand. 

Ben Shahn
[Photographer and artist, b. 1898, Kovno, Russia (now Kaunas, Lithuania), d. 1969, New York.]

 I became interested in photography when I found my own sketching was inadequate. 

Chuck Close
[Artist, b. 1940, Monroe, Washington, lives in New York.]

 I always say that inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. 
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