Marshall McLuhan
[Writer and theorist, b. 1911, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, d. 1980, Toronto, Canada.]

 Photography turns people into things and their image into a mass consumer product. 

Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 Part of the difficulty in trying to be both an artist and a businessperson is this: You make a picture because you have seen something beyond price; then you are to turn and assign to your record of it a cash value. If the selling is not necessarily a contradiction of the truth in the picture, it is so close to being a contradiction—and the truth is always in shades of gray—that you are worn down by the threat. 

Cindy Sherman
[Artist, b. 1954, Glen Ridge, New Jersey, lives in New York.]

 One reason I was interested in photography was to get away from the preciousness of the art object. 

Jack Welpott
[Photographer, b. 1923, Kansas City, Missouri, d. 2007, Greenbrae, California.]

 I went through a long period when I thought my photographs were not visible—on the wall, but not visible. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted. Industrial societies turn their citizens into image-junkies; it is the most irresistible form of mental pollution. 

Brian Duffy
[Photographer, b. 1933, London, d. 2010, London.]

 Ninety-nine per cent of my work was advertising and crap. The people who were hiring me I didn’t like. Keeping a civil tongue up the rectum of a society that keeps you paid is an art which I was devoid of. I had nothing more to say in photographs. (1979, on why he quit photography) 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
[Photographer and painter, b. 1908, Chanteloup, France, d. 2004, Paris.]

 ...the danger is that photography might become very precious — “Oh, a very rare print.” There’s not a very real place for it. But what does it mean? That preciousness is a sickness. Why do photographers start giving numbers to their prints? It’s absurd. What do you do when the 20th print has been done? Do you swallow the negative? Do you shoot yourself? It’s the gimmick of money. 

John Berger
[Writer and critic, b. 1926, London, d. 2017, Paris.]

 Walk down a street of private galleries—but it is unnecessary to describe the dealers with their faces like silk purses. Everything they say is said to disguise their proper purpose. If you could fuck works of art as well as buy them, they would be pimps. 
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