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

 What’s happening is that people are making a billion photographs a year of their cats, frequently with the cats wearing costumes. Do you think I should be doing shows of cat photography? 

Graham Nash
[Musician, photographer, and collector, b. 1942, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, lives in Encino, California.]

 I don’t shoot kittens with balls of wool. I don’t shoot sunsets. What draws me? Ironic, surreal, unexplained, timely moments. 

Alexey Brodovitch
[Graphic designer and art director, b. 1898, Ogolitchi, Russia, d. 1971, Le Thor, France.]

 What is a good photograph? I cannot say. A photograph is tied to the time, what is good today may be a cliché tomorrow. 

Jean Baudrillard
[Writer and theorist, b. 1929, Reims, France, d. 2007, Paris.]

 You think you photograph a particular scene for the pleasure it gives. In fact it’s the scene that wants to be photographed. You’re merely an extra in the production. 

Annette Messager
[Artist, b. 1943, Berck-sur-Mer, France, lives in Paris.]

 Pornography is about images that are repeated, saturated. Images of the human body, not nature. What I find in pornography is precisely the repetition of the same: the clichés of pornography. There can be no real transgression, just an image that repeats itself. 

Duane Michals
[Photographer, b. 1932, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 You go to these schools, and the kids all show you gorgeous prints of water running over pebbles. I’d rather see a not-so-gorgeous mistake of a brilliant idea, an idea that maybe the kid didn’t even know how to solve technically, but who cares, because he’s talking about something incredible. It’s not the medium, it’s the message for me. 

Rondal Partridge
[Photographer, b. 1917, San Francisco, d. 2015, Berkeley, California.]

 So many people are diverted to doing what people want photographed—fashion models, buildings, mountains—they get to thinking those photographs are good. 

Christian Boltanski
[Artist, b. 1944, Paris, lives in Paris.]

 ... in the eyes of its visitors, Venice has no reality of its own. Anyone visiting the place has already seen so many pictures of it that they can only attempt to view it via these clichés, and they take home photographs of Venice that are similar to the ones they already knew. Venice [is] becoming like one of those painted backdrops that photographers use in their studio. 
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