Robert Mapplethorpe
[Photographer, b. 1946, Floral Park, Long Island, d. 1989, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 I would see a young kid walking down 42nd Street and then go into a magazine storefront, which were places I didn’t know anything about. I became obsessed with going into them and seeing what was inside those magazines. They were all sealed, which made them even sexier somehow, because you couldn’t get at them. A kid gets a certain kind of reaction, which of course when you’ve been exposed to everything you don’t get. I got that feeling in my stomach, it’s not a directly sexual one, it’s something more potent than that. I though if I could somehow bring that element into art, if I could somehow retain that feeling, I would be doing something that was uniquely my own. 

Alec Soth
[Photographer, b. 1969, Minneapolis, Minnesota, lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.]

 Photography is a language. To communicate, you need to learn the language. The history of photography is like the vocabulary and influence is like a dialect. One shouldn’t be embarrassed about having an accent. 

Paul Strand
[Photographer, b. 1890, New York, d. 1976, Oregeval, France.]

 Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees. You may see and be affected by other people’s ways, you may even use them to find your own, but you will eventually have to free yourself of them. That is what Nietzsche meant when he said, “I have just read Schopenhauer, now I have to get rid of him.” He knew how insidious other people’s ways could be, particularly those which have the forcefulness of profound experience, if you let them get between you and your own vision. 

Jeff Wall
[Photographer, b. 1946, Vancouver, Canada, lives in Vancouver.]

 ...electronic image traffic has become present in the relation between the photographer and the picture he or she sees in a viewfinder. 

Philippe Halsman
[Photographer, b. 1906, Riga, Latvia, d. 1979, New York.]

 I drifted into photography like one drifts into prostitution. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and eventually I did it for money. 

Martin Munkacsi
[Photographer, b. 1898, Kolozsvár, Hungary, (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania), d. 1963, New York.]

 My trick—is there one? Well, perhaps a bitter youth with many changes of occupation, with the necessity of trying everything from poetry to berry picking. These difficult early years probably constitute the sources of my modest photographic activity. 

John Sexton
[Photographer, b. 1953, Maywood, California, lives in California.]

 Pictures you have taken have an influence on those that you are going to make. That’s life! 

David Hockney
[Artist, b. 1937, Bradford, England, lives in Bridlington, Yorkshire; London; and Los Angeles.]

 I came to Los Angeles for two reasons: The first was a photo by Julius Shulman of Case Study House #21, and the other was [Atheletic Model Guildʼs]ʼs Physique Pictorial. 
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