Gerhard Richter
[Artist, b. 1932, Dresden, lives in Düsseldorf.]

 Every time we describe an event, add up a column of figures, or take a photograph of a tree, we create a model; without models we would know nothing about reality and would be like animals. 
 Photography has almost no reality; it is almost a hundred percent picture. And painting always has reality... 
 The photograph is the most perfect picture. It does not change; it is absolute, and therefore autonomous, unconditional, devoid of style. 
 I do not mean to attack anything at all. The most seemingly banal pictures are on the contrary the richest... A snapshot, when one conforms to it, becomes an extremely powerful factor... the family photo, with everyone well portrayed in the center of the image, is literally overflowing with life. 
 When I paint from a photograph, conscious thinking is eliminated. I don’t know what I am doing... The photograph has an abstraction of its own, which is not easy to see through. 
 I like everything that has no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my paintings. (Because style is violent, and I am not violent.) 
 [Photographs] being painted no longer tell of a specific situation, and the representation becomes absurd. 
 To be filled with an idea is the greatest thing that can happen to me. Otherwise one is just empty. 
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