William J. T. Mitchell
[Writer, theorist, and architect, b. 1944, Melbourne, Australia, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 Pictures of pain are not necessarily painful pictures, and this is why our response to them fluctuates between shame and delight, horror and pleasure. 

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.) 

Friedrich Nietzsche
[Philosopher, b. 1844, Rocken, Prussia, d. 1900, Weimar, Germany.]

 To experience a thing as beautiful means: to experience it necessarily wrongly. 

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

 I did a picture of a guy with his finger up his cock. I think that for what it is, it’s a perfect picture, because the hand gestures are beautiful. I know most people couldn’t see the hand gestures, but compositionally I think it works. I think the hand gesture is beautiful. 

Weegee (Usher Fellig)
[Photographer, b. 1899, Zlothew near Lemberg, Austrian Galicia (now Zolochiv, Ukraine), d. 1968, New York.]

 The same camera that photographs a murder scene can photograph a beautiful society affair at a big hotel. 

Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 Nature photography… that acknowledges what is wrong, is admittedly sometimes hard to bear—it has to encompass our mistakes. Yet in the long run, it is important; in order to endure our age of apocalypse, we have to be reconciled not only to avalanche and hurricane, but to ourselves. 

Lewis Baltz
[Photographer, b. 1945, Newport Beach, California, d. 2014, Paris.]

 ...you don’t put an object in a museum because it’s beautiful; an object is beautiful because you put it in a museum. Everything is photogenic once it has been photographed. 

Garry Winogrand
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, d. 1984, Tijuana, Mexico.]

 I don’t know if all the women in the photographs are beautiful, but I do know the women are beautiful in the photographs. 
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