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

 I am not especially interested in anonymous photography, or avant-garde photography, or in straight, crooked, or any other subspecific category; I am interested in the entire, indivisible hairy beast—because in the real world, where photographs are made, these subspecies, or races, interbreed shamelessly and continually. (2006) 

Dorothea Lange
[Photographer, b. 1895, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1965, San Francisco.]

 I am trying here to say something about the despised, the defeated, the alienated. About death and disaster, about the wounded, the crippled, the helpless, the rootless, the dislocated. About finality. About the last ditch. 

Nastassja Kinski
[Model and actress, b. 1959, West Berlin, Germany, lives in Los Angeles and Europe.]

 When I cannot get that moment of truth where you feel yourself opening up like a flower, I absolutely loathe the bloody camera. I can just feel this black hole eyeing me, sucking me in, and I feel like smashing it to smithereens. 

John Waters
[Filmmaker and photographer, b. 1946, Baltimore, Maryland, lives in Baltimore.]

 For most people, the word voyeur is a bad word; to me, it’s a realistic one. Whatever your secret obsession is, that’s what you need to look at again and again and again. It doesn’t matter what it is. Was Ansel Adams—who spent a lifetime looking at mountains, making pictures, and getting off on them—a voyeur? 

Andy Warhol
[Artist, b. 1928, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, d. 1987, New York.]

 All photography is Pop, and all photographers are crazy... they feel guilty since they don’t have to do very much—just push a button. 

Charles Baudelaire
[Writer, b. 1821, Paris, d. 1867, Paris.]

 In the domain of painting and statuary, the present-day credo of the worldly wise, especially in France, is this: ... “I believe that art is, and can only be, the exact reproduction of nature...” An avenging God has heard the prayers of this multitude; Daguerre was his messiah. 

Andy Grundberg
[Critic, curator, and educator, lives in Washington, D.C.]

 There is no place in the postmodern world for a belief in the authenticity of experience, in the sanctity of the individual artist’s vision, in genius or originality. What postmodern art finally tells us is that things have been used up, that we are at the end of the line, that we are all prisoners of what we see. Clearly these are disconcerting and radical ideas, and it takes no great imagination to see that photography, as a nearly indiscriminate producer of images, is in large part responsible for them. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 [Photography] is the most successful vehicle of modernist taste in its pop version, with its zeal for debunking the high culture of the past (focusing on shards, junk, odd stuff; excluding nothing); its conscientious courting of vulgarity; its affection for kitsch; its skill in reconciling avant-garde ambitions with the rewards of commercialism; its pseudo-radical patronizing of art as reactionary, elitist, snobbish, insincere, artificial, out of touch with the broad truths of everyday life; its transformation of art into cultural document. 
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