Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]

 The ‘Surrealism’ of my images was just reality itself, but made Fantastic through vision. 
 Surreality lies within ourselves, in objects that have become banal because we no longer see them, in the normality of the normal. 
 My ambition was always to show aspects of daily life as if we were seeing them for the first time. 
 In the absence of a subject with which you are passionately involved, and without the excitement that drives you to grasp it and exhaust it, you may take some beautiful pictures, but not a photographic oeuvre. 
 There is always the danger of prostituting one’s gifts simply in order to live and to survive. The most difficult thing in life is to make money doing what you like to do. 
 It was obvious that, come what may, I had to free myself from photography. I had always considered photography to be a mere springboard to my real self but, lo and behold, the springboard would not let me go. Sometimes I was close to despair. 
 Only vividly perceived pictures can penetrate deeply into the memory, remain there, become unforgettable. For me this is the only criterion for a beautiful photograph. 
 In the light of photography a new Proust has been revealed to me as a sort of mental photographer who used his own body as an ultrasensitive plate, managing thereby to capture and register in his youth thousands of impressions, and who, starting from the search for lost time, dedicated his own time to developing and printing them, thereby making visible the latent image of his entire life in that gigantic photograph constituted by À la recherche du temps perdu. 
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