Danny Lyon
[Photographer, b. 1942, New York, lives in Ulster County, New York.]

 The pictures do not ask you to “help” these people, but something much more difficult; to be briefly, intensely aware of their existence, an existence as real and significant as your own. 

Thomas Ruff
[Photographer, b. 1958, Zell, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.]

 I don’t believe in the psychologizing portrait photography that my colleagues do, trying to capture the character with a lot of light and shade. That’s absolutely suspect to me. I can only show the surface. Whatever goes beyond that is more or less chance. 

W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]

 In printing the photographs of the white-gowned Klan members I ran into considerable difficulty. There were several with uncovered faces and these faces were vividly dark in comparison to the white-white of the gowns that it was almost impossible to keep them from appearing black. I am terribly sorry. (Apology to his editor about images from his 1951 photo essay on the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.)  

Chuck Close
[Artist, b. 1940, Monroe, Washington, lives in New York.]

 When I went to pick [artist Joe Zucker] up to photograph him, I didn’t recognize him. He has curly, blonde, bushy hair—but he had bought a jar of Vaseline, greased his hair down, borrowed someone’s white shirt and tie, someone else’s glasses, and he looked like a used car salesman. He understood that all he had to do was provide me with the evidence that someone like that existed for a 100th of a second. It didn’t necessarily have to be him. 

Vito Acconci
[Artist, b. 1940, Bronx, New York, lives in Brooklyn, New York.]

 [My early performance work] started by being the activity of a person, any person, like any other—but once that person became photographed it became a specialized person, the object of a personality cult. 

Christopher Isherwood
[b. 1904, Disley, Cheshire, England, d. 1986, Santa Monica, California.]

 I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording—not thinking... Someday all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed. 

William Wegman
[Artist, b. 1943, Holyoke, Massachusetts, lives in New York.]

 I was born on a tiny cot in southwestern Massachusetts during World War II. A sickly child, I turned to photography to overcome my loneliness and isolation. 

Minor White
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1908, Minneapolis, Minnesota, d. 1976, Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 The camera is first a means of self-discovery and a means of self-growth. The artist has one thing to say—himself. 
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