Barbara Kasten
[Photographer, b. 1936, Chicago, Illinois, lives in Chicago.]

 The question is: Can I make a photograph that is truly abstract, or must photographs always be representational as reality is there at their core?  

William Eggleston
[Photographer, b. 1939, Memphis, Tennessee, lives in Memphis.]

 I’ve always assumed that the abstract qualities of [my] photographs are obvious. For instance, I can turn them upside down and they’re still interesting to me as pictures. If you turn a picture that’s not well organized upside down, it won’t work. 

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

 All good art is abstract in its structure. 

Mel Bochner
[Artist, b. 1940, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 Photography Cannot Record Abstract Ideas (Title of a 16x20 inch photograph depicting an index card on which that phrase is handwritten.) 

Neil Postman
[Writer and media critic, b. 1931, New York, d. 2003, Queens, New York.]

 By itself photography cannot deal with the unseen, the remote, the internal, the abstract, it does not speak of “Man,” only of “a man”; not of “Tree,” only “a tree.” 

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

 I shall let no chance pass to record interesting abstractions, but I feel definite in my belief that the approach to photography is through realism—and its most difficult approach. (1924) 

Uta Barth
[Photographer, b. 1958, Berlin, lives in Los Angeles.]

 Everything is pointing to one’s own activity of looking, to an awareness and sort of hyper-consciousness of visual perception. The only way I know how to invite this experience is by removing the other things (i.e., subject matter) for you to think about. 

Tristan Tzara (Sami Rosenstock)
[Writer and artist, b. 1896, Moineti, Bacu, Romania, d. 1963, Paris.]

 Is it a spiral of water in the tragic gleam of a revolver, an egg, a glistening arc or the floodgate of reason, a keen ear attuned to a mineral hiss, or a turbine of algebraic formulas? (On Man Ray’s first photograms, 1921.) 
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