Duane Michals
[Photographer, b. 1932, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 The only thing we know for sure is what we experience. If you look at a photograph of somebody crying, you register grief. But in fact, you don’t know what people are experiencing at all. You’re always protecting your version of what that emotion is. What is known is only what I know. The only truth I know is my own experience. I don’t know what it means to be black. I don’t know what it means to be a woman. I don’t know what it means to be Cartier-Bresson. So I have to define my work in terms of my own truth. That’s what the journey is all about, if you are to use your own instincts. The great wonder is that we each have our own validity, our own mysteries. It’s the sharing of those gifts that makes artists artists. 
 I don’t believe in the eyes, I believe in the mind... I’m not interested in what things look like. 
 I’m always working on something. I’m not a photographer the moment I pick up the camera. When I pick one up, the hard work’s already been done. The hard part for me is what do I think, what do I care enough about for me to do a photograph? 
 Everything is subject for photography, especially the difficult things of our lives: anxiety, childhood hurts, lust, nightmares. The things that cannot be seen are the most significant. They cannot be photographed, only suggested. 
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