David Maisel
[Photographer, b. 1961, New York, lives in San Francisco.]

 I can’t let myself ever make pictures that are beautiful unless there’s some price that’s been paid. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 ...the most enduring triumph of photography has been its aptitude for discovering beauty in the humble, the inane, the decrepit. At the very least, the real has a pathos. And that pathos is—beauty. 

Daido Moriyama
[Photographer, b. 1938, Ikeda-cho, Osaka, Japan, lives in Tokyo.]

 Until a few years ago, I was able to stave off an awareness that there is not an ounce of beauty in the world, and that humanity is a thing of extreme hideousness. So I could shoot and believe in something. (1972) 

Robert Mapplethorpe
[Photographer, b. 1946, Floral Park, Long Island, d. 1989, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 I am obsessed with beauty. I want everything to be perfect, and of course it isn’t. And that’s a tough place to be because you’re never satisfied. 

Richard Misrach
[Photographer, b. 1949, Los Angeles, lives in San Francisco.]

 Probably the strongest criticism leveled at my work is that I’m making “poetry of the holocaust.” But I’ve come to believe that beauty can be a very powerful conveyor of difficult ideas. It engages people when they might otherwise look away. 

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

 A garbage can, occasionally, to me at least, can be beautiful. That’s because you’re seeing. Some people are able to see that—see it and feel it. I lean toward the enchantment, the visual power, of the esthetically rejected subject. 

Patti Smith
[Musician, artist, and writer, b. 1946, Chicago, Illinois, lives in Detroit and New York.]

 He found it was as easy to hurl beauty as anything else. (On Robert Mapplethorpe) 

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

 ...you don’t put an object in a museum because it’s beautiful; an object is beautiful because you put it in a museum. Everything is photogenic once it has been photographed. 
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