Sherrie Levine
[Artist, b. 1947, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 Instead of taking photographs of trees or nudes, I take photographs of photographs. I choose pictures that manifest the desire that nature and culture provide us with a sense of order and meaning. I appropriate these images to express my own simultaneous longing for the passion of engagement and the sublimity of aloofness. I hope that in my photographs of photographs an uneasy peace will be made between my attraction to the ideals these pictures exemplify and my desire to have no ideas or fetters whatsoever. It is my aspiration that my photographs, which contain their own contradiction, would represent the best of both worlds. 

W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]

 I try to take what voice I have and I give it to those who don’t have one at all. 

Edmundo Desnoes
[Writer, b. 1930, Havana, Cuba, lives in New York.]

 There is a kind of photography that has a refined presence in the history of images stolen from reality. It is the art photograph as a lie. It transcends fluid reality and creates a closed unity. When it achieves an aesthetic synthesis, it immediately attains static unity. Cartier-Bresson’s photographs taken in Indonesia, for example, have this paralysing effect. One is compelled to believe in the perfection of the original reality; the image is a harmonious entity in itself. “Do not change a single thing!” one feels inclined to exclaim, like a stupid tourist in any “exotic and primitive” country. 

Jacques-Henri Lartigue
[Photographer, b. 1894, Courbevoie, France, d. 1986, Nice, France.]

 My brother Zissou had a vivid intelligence and he invented so many things—wooden horses, crates on wheels, even a velodrome—but I was always the little boy, in a way, kept in the corner, dying to take part. This really grieved me until one day I said to myself, “Now I am going to catch all these beautiful things which they do.” And I invented my piége d'oeil, my eye-trap, which consisted in opening and shutting my eyes rapidly three times. This way I had the impression that I caught all of what was going on: the images, the sounds, the colors. All. 

Maggie Steber
[Photographer, b. 1949, born in Electra, Texas, lives in Miami, Florida.]

 Photographs are like our children. We put the best of ourselves into them—the best of our vision, our minds, our hearts—and then we send them out into the world. At some moment, perhaps the moment we click the shutter, they are being released. From that moment on, they don’t really belong to us anymore. 

Joel Meyerowitz
[Photographer, b. 1938, New York, lives in New York.]

 We all experience it. Those moments when we gasp and say, “Oh, look at that.” Maybe it’s nothing more than the way a shadow glides across a face, but in that split second, when you realize something truly remarkable is happening and disappearing right in front of you, if you can pass a camera before your eye, you’ll tear a piece of time out of the whole, and in a breath, rescue it and give it new meaning. 
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