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) 

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.”) 

Alexander Gardner
[Photographer, b. 1821, Paisley, Scotland, d. 1882, Washington, D.C.]

 Such a picture [A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg battlefield, July, 1863] conveys a useful moral: It shows the blank horror and reality of war, in opposition to the pageantry. Here are the dreadful details! Let them aid in preventing such another calamity falling upon the nation. (1866) 

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

 The richness of our contemporary visual world must be seen as a danger. It is an overwhelming and oppressive world. A world that manifests itself fundamentally through the image is only a few steps from totalitarian manipulation. 

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. 

Allan Sekula
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1951, Erie, Pennsylvania, d. 2013, Los Angeles.]

 Photography promises an enhanced mastery of nature, but photography also threatens conflagration and anarchy. 

John Heartfield (Helmut Franz Joseph Herzfeld)
[Artist, b. 1891, Munich, Germany, d. 1968, Berlin.]

 ... we used authentic shots of war, of the demobilization, of a parade of all the crowned heads of Europe, and the like. These shots brutally demonstrated the horror of war: flame thrower attacks, piles of mutilated bodies, burning cities; war films had not yet come into “fashion,” so these pictures were bound to have a more striking impact on the masses of the proletariat than a hundred lectures. 

Gerhard Richter
[Artist, b. 1932, Dresden, lives in Düsseldorf.]

 I had had enough of bloody painting, and painting from a photograph seemed to me the most moronic thing that anyone could do. 
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