Patti Smith
[Musician, artist, and writer, b. 1946, Chicago, Illinois, lives in Detroit and New York.]

 He found it was as easy to hurl beauty as anything else. (On Robert Mapplethorpe) 

Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 A garbage can, occasionally, to me at least, can be beautiful. That’s because you’re seeing. Some people are able to see that—see it and feel it. I lean toward the enchantment, the visual power, of the esthetically rejected subject. 

John Baldessari
[Artist, b. 1931, National City, California, lives in Venice, California.]

 Probably I was never going to get out of National City, so I was going to show people what it’s like, to make art out of where I lived without glamorizing it, and with the idea that truth is beautiful, no matter how ugly it is. I drove around in the car shooting my pictures from the window, because I didn’t want to make the place more beautiful by setting my camera up with a tripod, getting the right light, and just the right composition. I wanted it just the way it is. 

Minor White
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1908, Minneapolis, Minnesota, d. 1976, Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 Animal living is photographed full tide with barely a moment of lyricism, none of beauty, and tragedy only a match struck on the seat of the pants…. Actually Klein did not photograph a city; he matched with cheap sensational photography the vulgarity of life in all its ugliness. (1957, On William Klein’s book New York.) 

Andres Serrano
[Artist, b. 1950, New York, lives in New York.]

 There’s nothing wrong with provocative art work: I even look forward to the day when I can take pictures which will disturb even me. 

Abraham Lincoln
[Lawyer, politician, and leader, b. 1809, Hodgenville, Kentucky, d. 1865, Washington, D.C..]

 There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes. 

Janet Malcolm
[Writer, b. 1934, Prague, Czechoslovakia, lives in New York.]

 [Richard Avedon’s] camera dwells on the horrible things that age can do to people’s faces—on the flabby flesh, the slack skin, the ugly growths, the puffy eyes, the knotted necks, the aimless wrinkles, the fearful and anxious set of the mouth, the marks left by sickness, madness, alcoholism, and irreversible disappointment. 

Peter Beard
[Artist, b. 1938, New York, lives in New York City, Montauk Point, New York, and Ngong Hills, Kenya.]

 I am a parasite off beauty. 
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