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. 

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. 

Jason Fulford
[Photographer, b. 1973, Atlanta, Georgia, lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania.]

 We all are influenced by things and copy things, but often where there is a certain level of copying, only the surface value ends up being reproduced and that becomes thinner and thinner. I feel like a lot of appropriation suffers from that. 

Platon (Platon Rivellis)
[Photographer, b. 1968, London, lives in New York.]

 When I graduated from college, I was working for gritty magazines with no budget and we were reacting against the gloss of the American photographers, where everything was very glamorous and everything was perfectly retouched. Growing up in London, it was always raining, we were very poor, we never saw any celebrities. So I started shooting that way. 

Edward Weston
[Photographer, b. 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, d. 1958, Wildcat Hill, California.]

 By all means tell your Board that pubic hair has definitely been part of my development as an artist, tell them it has been the most important part, that I like it black, brown, red or golden, curly or straight, all sizes and shapes. (To Museum of Modern Art curator Beaumont Newhall, after being told the museum was reluctant to show nudes revealing pubic hair.) 

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. 

Gordon Parks
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1912, Fort Scott, Kansas, d. 2006, New York.]

 I was born to a black childhood of confusion and poverty. The memory of that beginning influences my work today, It is impossible now to photograph a hungry child without remembering the hunger of my old childhood. 

Larry Clark
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1943, Tulsa, Oklahoma, lives in New York.]

 [Eugene Smith] was always writing these diatribes about truth, and how he wanted to tell the truth, the truth, the truth. It was a real rebel position. It was kind of like a teenager’s position: why can’t things be like they should be? Why can’t I do what I want? I latched on to that philosophy. One day I snapped, hey, you know, I know a story that no one’s ever told, never seen, and I’ve lived it. It’s my own story and my friends’ story. 
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