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DUANE MICHALS
The best part of us is not what we see, it's what we feel. We are what we feel. We are not what we look at . . .. We're not our eyeballs, we're our mind. People believe their eyeballs and they're totally wrong . . .. That's why I consider most photographs extremely boring--just like Muzak, inoffensive, charming, another waterfall, another sunset. This time, colors have been added to protect the innocent. It's just boring. But that whole arena of one's experience--grief, loneliness--how do you photograph lust? I mean, how do you deal with these things? This is what you are, not what you see. It's all sitting up here. I could do all my work sitting in my room. I don't have to go anywhere. - Duane Michals

If you look at a photograph, and you think, 'My isn't that a beautiful photograph,' and you go on to the next one, or 'Isn't that nice light?' so what? I mean what does it do to you or what's the real value in the long run? What do you walk away from it with? I mean, I'd much rather show you a photograph that makes demands on you, that you might become involved in on your own terms or be perplexed by. - Duane Michals

The only thing we know for sure is what we experience. If you look at a photograph of somebody crying, you register grief. But in fact, you don't know what people are experiencing at all. You're always protecting your version of what that emotion is. What is known is only what I know. The only truth I know is my own experience. I don't know what it means to be black. I don't know what it means to be a woman. I don't know what it means to be Cartier-Bresson. So I have to define my work in terms of my own truth. That's what the journey is all about, if you are to use your own instincts. The great wonder is that we each have our own validity, our own mysteries. It's the sharing of those gifts that makes artists artists. - Duane Michals
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Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be. - Duane Michals - 1966

I think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody's face in a photograph. The magic is in seeing people in new ways. - Duane Michals, More Joy of Photography by Eastman Kodak (Editor)
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Trust that little voice in your head that says 'Wouldn't it be interesting if...." And then do it. - Duane Michals, More Joy of Photography by Eastman Kodak (Editor)
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I often try to photograph things about a person that are not visible. - Duane Michals, Great Themes : LIFE Library of Photography by Time-Life (Editor) , Page: 114
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My gift to you is that I am different. - Duane Michals - in an interview with Anne Tucker.
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I am interested in the nature of things. The nature of something is quite different from the way it looks. - Duane Michals - in an interview with Anne Tucker.

And in not learning the rules, I was free. I always say, you're either defined by the medium or you redefine the medium in terms of your needs. - Duane Michals

Because of my involvement with my photographs, it is difficult for me really to see them objectively. Talking about them is like talking about myself. The only real idea that I have about them is that they are essentially snapshots. For snapshots, I feel, often have an inherent simplicity and directness that I find beautiful. The roots of my photographs are in this tradition.

However, I think that the photographer must completely control his picture and bring to it all his personality, and in this area most photographs never transcend being just snapshots. When a great photographer does infuse the snapshot with his personality and vision, it can be transformed into something truly moving and beautiful. - Duane Michals, Views on nudes by Bill Jay , ISBN: 0240507312 , Page: 80

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If I was concerned about being accepted, I would have been doing Ansel Adams lookalikes, because that was easily accepted. Everything I did was never accepted...but luckily for me, my interest in the subject and my passion for the subject took me to the point that I wasn't wounded by that, and eventually, people came around to me. - Duane Michals

Taking the photograph is the easiest part for me. - Duane Michals

I am an expressionist and by that I mean that I'm not a photographer or a writer or a painter or a tap dancer, but rather someone who expresses himself according to his needs. - Duane Michals

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