[Artist, b. 1840, Paris, France, d. 1917, Paris.]
I believe that photography can create great works of art, but hitherto it has been extraordinarily bourgeois and babbling. (1908)
[Photographer, b. 1939, Memphis, Tennessee, lives in Memphis.]
A picture is what it is and I’ve never noticed that it helps to talk about them, or answer specific questions about them, much less volunteer information in words. It wouldn’t make any sense to explain them. Kind of diminishes them. People always want to know when something was taken, where it was taken, and, God knows, why it was taken. It gets really ridiculous. I mean, they’re right there, whatever they are.
[Writer and theorist, b. 1911, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, d. 1980, Toronto, Canada.]
The movie stars and matinee idols are put into the public domain by photography. They become dreams that money can buy. They can be bought and thumbed more easily than public prostitutes.
[Photographer and curator, b. 1864, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1946, New York.]
Every Tom, Dick and Harry could, without trouble, learn how to get something or other on a sensitive plate, and this is what the public wanted—no work and lots of fun. Thanks to the efforts of these persons hand camera and bad work became synonymous. (1897)
[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.
[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.)
[Musician, b. 1949, Pomona, California, lives in Sonoma County, California.]
Photos are profound because they have such short lives. They are more like fingerprints, dead leaves, rain puddles, or the corpses of flies.
[Photographer, b. 1934, Aberdeen, Washington, lives in New York.]
I only wanted Uncle Vern standing by his new car (a Hudson) on a clear day. I got him and the car. I also got a bit of Aunt Mary’s laundry and Beau Jack, the dog, peeing on a fence, and a row of potted tuberous begonias on the porch and seventy-eight trees and a million pebbles in the driveway and more. It’s a generous medium, photography.