Quoteman Recommends

Quotation collections are traditionally displayed by author. And you can certainly follow that path. Do you love William Klein, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Nikki S. Lee, or Rineke Dijikstra? They’re here. Look under the author interface. You’ll find the best thoughts and crispest statements by more than 800 photographers, artists, and thinkers from Louis Daguerre to Thomas Ruff, Diane Arbus to Alfredo Jarr, Roland Barthes to Susan Sontag.

But photography is a conversation, not a soliloquy. Quoteman recommends delving into the quotes by category. The site has been built with that in mind. Beneath the hood is a super-smart, high-powered database engine. Rev it up. There are three main clusters of categories: Themes, Oppositions, and On Photography. Categories deliver quotations sorted by subject. Interested in the smartest observations on about the connection between photography and sex? What about chance, beauty, love, or death? How about digital photography, self-portraits, photojournalism, or censorship? Here you can watch photography’s struggles, skirmishes, and crusades. It’s a ceaseless conversation. This site is the history of photography in crystalline form.

There’s a next step. Don’t just cruise quotes, create your own collection. Click the “Curate Your Own Collection” button. The interface is easy, but making ingeniously original connections can be harder. To start, Quoteman recommends picking a theme, preferably one you really love (or hate). For example, perhaps you’re inclined to philosophy. If so, you would have noticed the numerous philosophers commenting on photography’s conundrums and provocations: Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard, Thoreau, Schopenhauer, Marx, Heidegger, Nietzsche. Nice start for a collection called “Philosophers.” Moving on, you could add mentions of the metaphor of Plato’s cave. Then it might occur to you to cherry-pick philosophers somewhat outside the standard canon: Krishnamurti, Homer Simpson, Frank Zappa, God. At that point, you might rename your collection “Philosophers and Pseudo-Philosophers.” Your collection will be available to the world. Astonish us.