Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 The photographer, the artist, “takes” a picture: symbolically he lifts an object or that composition... [He] has rendered his object in some way transcendent and... in each instance his vision has penetrating validity. 

Cindy Sherman
[Artist, b. 1954, Glen Ridge, New Jersey, lives in New York.]

 The way I see it, as soon as I make a piece I’ve lost control of it. 

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

 ... rather than tear [advertising photographs] out of the magazines and paste them up on a board, I thought why not re-photograph them with a camera and then put them in a real frame with a mat board around the picture just like a real photograph and call them mine. I mean “pirate” them, “steal” them, “sample” them. 

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

 As long as pictures remain powerful, living conventions within culture, I’ll continue to use them and turn them around. Texts, pictures, projections—I want to keep the plurality of practices going. 

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. 

Josef Koudelka
[Photographer, b. 1938, Biskovice, Moravia, Czechoslovakia, lives in Paris.]

 Personally, I have had the good fortune of always being able to do what I wanted, never working for others. Maybe it is a silly principle, but the idea that no one can buy me is important for me. I refuse assignments, even for projects that I have decided to do anyhow. It is somewhat the same with my books. When my first book, the one on the gypsies, was published, it was hard for me to accept the idea that I could no longer choose the people to whom I would show my photos, that any one could buy them. 

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. 

Vladimir Nabokov
[Writer, b. 1899, St. Petersburg, Russia, d. 1977, Montreux, Switzerland.]

 And by the striped man
directed at the sunny sand
blinked with a click of its black eyelid
the camera’s ocellus.

That bit of film imprinted
all it could catch,
the stirless child,
his radiant mother,

and a toy pail and two beach spades,
and some way off a bank of sand,
and I, the accidental spy,
I in the background have also been taken.

Next winter, in an unknown house,
grandmother will be shown an album,
and in that album there will be a snapshot,
and in that snapshot I shall be.

My likeness among strangers,
one of my August days,
my shade they never noticed,
my shade they stole in vain.
(1927) 
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