Joel Sternfeld – ‘American Prospects’ (2012)

  It is about a country convinced of its independence and freedom, but that when photographed appears chained to a set of principles and dreams powerfully manifested in its architecture and in the lives its people have chosen to lead.   The Dreams of Some By Paul Loomis, December, 2012 It is written in the […]

Diane Arbus: “Essential Mysteries (Excerpt)” (2011)

One of Arbus’s last series of photographs was of the institutionalized mentally retarded, whom she found “the strangest combination of grownup and child” she’d ever seen.   By William Todd Schultz, excerpt from An Emergency in Slow Motion: The Inner Life of Diane Arbus, 2011 Essential Mysteries One of photographer Diane Arbus’s first pictures, she […]

Eggleston’s World (1999)

“I think of them as parts of a novel I’m doing.”   By Walter Hopps, essay from The Hasselblad Award, 1998 These were the first words William Eggleston uttered when I asked what he felt he was accomplishing with his photographs. Another fine photographer from the South, William Christenberry, had brought Eggleston to meet me […]

I Make My Picture on the Surface: Visiting Thomas Ruff in Dusseldorf (2005)

Sammlung Goetz, Munchen, 1994 Ruff’s work is based on a critical study of the nature and history of photography. To his mind, the reputed objectivity of photography has always been suspect, and electronic processing is no less manipulative than the subjective selection made by the person looking through the lens. By Philip Ursprung, text excerpt […]

Diane Arbus MoMA Exhibition Wall Label Text (1972)

She was not a theorist but an artist. Her concern was not to buttress philosophical questions but to make pictures.   By John Szarkowski, Director, Department of Photography, NY MoMA Diane Arbus’s pictures challenge the basic assumptions on which most documentary photography has been thought to rest, for they deal with private rather than social […]

Max Kozloff On Lisette Model (and Weegee) (2002)

@ Lisette Model Estate   Model’s art is definitely antibourgeois: her judgments indict the middle class’s smugness as well as its selfishness.   By Max Kozloff, Excerpt from New York: Capital of Photography, 2002 Model’s art is definitely antibourgeois: her judgments indict the middle class’s smugness as well as its selfishness. For example, she depicted […]

On Diane Arbus vs Eugene Smith (1977)

By Robert Coles, Wellesley College, 1977 I have an intense dislike for Diane Arbus. I don’t like her photographs and I don’t like the cult that’s been made of them. Maybe it’s because I’m a psychiatrist, because some part of me feels that that’s wrong, that that isn’t the whole of the reality. Or maybe […]

Notes from the Margin of Spoiled Identity – The Art of Diane Arbus (1988)

“I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do, that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.” – Diane Arbus   By Gerry Badger as a collaboration with ASX, Originally Published in Phototexts, 1988 The principal issue raised by the remarkable photographs […]

A Statement by Robert Frank (1958)

With these photographs, I have attempted to show a cross-section of the American population. My effort was to express it simply and without confusion. By Robert Frank, U.S. Camera Annual, p. 115, 1958 I am grateful to the Guggenheim Foundation for their confidence and the provisions they made for me to work freely in my […]

Lou Reed on Robert Frank: “Sick of Goodby’s” (1978)

Sick of Goodby’s, Mabou, 1978, Robert Frank   Paint dripping from a mirror like blood. I’m sick of goodbyes.     By Lou Reed, originally published in Tate Magazine, Issue 2, Autumn, 2004 I was looking at Robert Frank’s photograph Sick of Goodby’s in his book The Lines of My Hand. Moments before I had been […]