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

 ...nature photographs downright bore me for some reason or other. I think: “Oh, yes. Look at that sand dune. What of it?” 
 It’s too presumptuous and naïve to think you can change society by a photograph or anything else... I equate that with propaganda; I think that’s a lower rank of purpose. 
 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. 
 Documentary? That's a very sophisticated and misleading word... art is never a document. 
 The unappreciated artist is at once very humble and arrogant too. He collects and edits the world about him. This is especially important in the psychology of camera work. This is why a man who has faith, intelligence, and cultivation will show it in his work. Fine photography is literate, and it should be. 
 My photography was a semi-conscious reaction against right-thinking and optimism; it was an attack on the establishment. 
 American city is what I’m after.... People, all classes, surrounded by bunches of the new down-and-out. Automobiles and the automobile landscape. Architecture, American urban taste, commerce, small scale, large scale, the city street atmosphere, the street smell, the hateful stuff, women’s clubs, fake culture, bad education, religion in decay. (Plan to document American life, 1934)  
 The blind are not totally blind. Reality is not totally real. 
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