Barbara Kruger
[Artist, b. 1945, Newark, New Jersey, lives in New York.]

 I worked with someone else’s photos; I cropped them in whatever way I wanted and put words on top of them. I knew how to do it with my eyes closed. Why couldn’t that be my art? 

Subcommander Marcos (Rafael Sebastian Guillén Vicente)
[Professor and revolutionary, b. 1957, Tampico, Mexico, lives in Chiapas, Mexico.]

 ... the photographer is a thief who chooses what he steals (which, at this stage of the crisis, is a luxury) and does not “democratize” the image, that is to say, the photographer selects the pictures, a privilege which ought to be granted to the person being photographed. 

Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon)
[Photographer, b. 1820, Paris, d. 1910, Paris.]

 According to Balzac’s theory, all physical bodies are made up entirely of layers of ghostlike images, an infinite number of leaflike skins laid on top of one another. Since Balzac believed man was incapable of making something material from an apparition—that is, creating something from nothing—he concluded that every time someone had his photograph taken, one of the spectral layers was removed from the body and transferred to the photograph. Repeated exposures entailed the unavoidable loss of subsequent ghostly layers, that is, the very essence of life. 

Richard Prince
[Artist, b. 1949, Panama Canal Zone, lives in New York.]

 What I find is that the taking, the stealing, the appropriation of images has to do with prior availability, and it sets up a degree where things can be shared... It’s like 50% off... You can let something of another emotion or another personality sign on your work, or co-sign it. 

Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.
 

Yousuf Karsh
[Photographer, b. 1908, Mardin, Armenia, d. 2002, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 I try to photograph people’s spirits and thoughts. As to the soul-taking by the photographer, I don’t feel I take away, but rather that the sitter and I give to each other. It becomes an act of mutual participation. 

Jean Baudrillard
[Writer and theorist, b. 1929, Reims, France, d. 2007, Paris.]

 Every photographed object is merely the trace left behind by the disappearance of all the rest. It is an almost perfect crime, an almost total resolution of the world, which merely leave the illusion of a particular object shining forth, the image of which then becomes an impenetrable enigma. 

Robert Smithson
[Artist, b. 1938, Rutherford, New Jersey, d. 1973, Amarillo, Texas.]

 A camera is wild in just about anybody’s hands, therefore one must set limits. But cameras have a life of their own. Cameras care nothing about cults or isms. They are indifferent mechanical eyes, ready to devour anything in sight. They are lenses of the unlimited reproduction. 
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