Miscellaneous Photographs

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Talking about pictures

  • “The trouble with photography is that it’s been hijacked by the art world.”  … Don McCullin in the New York Times
  • “I’m a photographer, that’s all. Like anything else, not all paintings are art. Not all photographs are art. They might be, but it’s not up to me to say.”  … Josef Koudelka in The Getty Iris
  • “Works of art, by being publicly exhibited and offered for sale, are becoming articles of trade, following the unreasoning laws of markets and fashion”  … Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, consort of Queen Victoria in a speech to the Royal Academy 1851
  • “The camera cannot lie, but it can be an accessory to untruth.”  … Harold Evans author of Pictures on a Page.
  • “It is difficult to conceive of democracies surviving without credible witnesses.”  … Fred Ritchin, author of After Photography.
  • “The presence of facts does not mean the truth is present.”  … David M. Shribman
  • “Photography should register and give us documents.”  … Henri Matisse
  • “Look, I’m not an intellectual – I just take pictures.”  … Helmut Newton
  • “Few see, most don’t even bother to look.”  … Fred Herzog
  • “It takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary.“  … David Bailey
  • “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”  … Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • “Ms. Horn always had a lot to say about her work … some of it is quite interesting, but artists don’t own the meaning of their artworks.”  … from a review by Roberta Smith in the New York Times.
  • “the most ‘successful’ artists of the 21st century, flogging their endless versions of the same idea to know-nothing billionaires.”  … Julian Barnes in his book “Keeping an Eye Open”
  • “Artists pretend to make art, critics pretend to like it.”  … Martin Toren attempting to explain post modernism
  • “You want me to say it worse?”  … Robert Frost on being asked to explain one of his poems.
  • “A lot of what passes for ‘visual literacy’ today is merely visual cynicism…”  … Susie Linfield author of “The Cruel Radiance”
  • “Galleries don’t exhibit work based on artistic merit. Galleries exhibit work they think they can sell.”  … Joerg Colberg
  • “Curator’s art is indisputably, even innocuously, elegant, with clear roots in minimal and conceptual art and not much else. It tends to be profusely appreciated by a hermetic few, curators, artists and theorists, who fetishize its refinements and often take its creators pretty much at their word.”  … Edward Winkleman, blogspot
  • “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”  … Ansel Adams
  • “I don’t want to hear them talk about their work …They make the [stuff] and I talk about it … [Artists] are the last people who know what they’re doing. It’s left brain, right brain: the part of the mind that produces analysis and explanation is turned off in the studio; ask an artist about what the art is and you’re talking to somebody who, in essence, wasn’t there. You’re just going to pick up some [baloney] they’ve heard from their dealer or some professor of art theory.” … Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for the New Yorker in an interview.
  • “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”  … Marcel Proust
  • “Colour is watching the movie. Black and white is reading the book.”  … John Denniston
  • “With the one eye that is closed, one looks within; with the other eye that is open, one looks without.”  … Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?”  … Paul Gauguin
  • “One has to hurry, if one wants still to see something. Everything disappears.”  … Paul Cezanne
  • “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place.  … Elliott Erwitt
  • “Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past.”  … Berenice Abbott
  • “One photograph out of focus is a mistake … one hundred photographs out of focus is a style.”  … Author unknown
  • “Hardening of the categories causes art disease.”  … W. Eugene Smith in a note to himself found among his papers at CPP.
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