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

 Other than that, Icarus, how was the flight? (On his monumental, troubled Pittsburgh photo project “Labyrinthian Walk.”) 

Lewis Baltz
[Photographer, b. 1945, Newport Beach, California, d. 2014, Paris.]

 I never did [understand L.A.], really: I always believed that God would destroy L.A. for its sins. Finally I realized that He had already destroyed it, and then left it around as a warning. 

Vik Muniz
[Artist, b. 1961, Sao Paulo, Brazil, lives in New York.]

 I have failed so much that I now stand on failure itself. It has become my work place and where I harvest my best ideas. 

David Wojnarowicz
[Artist and activist, b. 1954, Redbank, New Jersey, d. 1990, New York.]

 I am all emptiness and futility. I am an empty stranger, a carbon copy of my form. I can no longer find what I’m looking for outside of myself. It doesn’t exist out there. Maybe it’s only in here, inside my head. But my head is glass and my eyes have stopped being cameras, the tape has run out and nobody’s words can touch me. 

Lewis Baltz
[Photographer, b. 1945, Newport Beach, California, d. 2014, Paris.]

 I used photography to distance myself from a world that I loathed and was powerless to improve. 

Donald McCullin
[Photographer, b. 1935, Finsbury Park, London, lives in Somerset, England.]

 The darkroom can be cruel. You have to talk your way through your printing, alone, sometimes you turn the radio on and listen to trash music. When I finish, I wash everything meticulously, I dust everything, it’s like paying a homage to the spiritual power that could destroy me. And I won’t let it. Something else will destroy me—but it won’t be the darkroom, it won’t be photography. I am very strong, nearly ninety nine percent of me is strong and fortified all around. But I am sure there is a crack, somewhere behind me, in my make-up, where the damage will get in and destroy me. 

Tom Wolfe
[Writer, b. 1930, Richmond, Virginia, d. 2018, New York.]

 Suddenly there is magic in such items... as random and eccentric framing, blurred images, keeling horizons, distorted scale, unreal colors (puce waters, chartreuse skies), grotesque foreshortening... and nightclub photo lighting with its flash overexposures and clotted shadows and inexplicable detail and tilted walls and stray items—arms, legs, shoes, cloven bottoms, anorexic elbows—appearing in an amputated condition about the edges... Once regarded as technical limitation of the medium, as annoyances to be overcome by professional expertise, they now become like animae, tree spirits, to be treated with reverence and looked to for guidance. 

Hunter Thompson
[Writer, b. 1937, Louisville, Kentucky, d. 2005, Woody Creek, Colorado.]

 These horrifying digital snapshots of the American dream in action on foreign soil are worse than anything even I could have expected. I have been in this business a long time and I have seen many staggering things, but this one is over the line. Now I am really ashamed to carry an American passport. (On photographs of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq) 
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