94 ACTIVE USERS    
1417 VISITORS TODAY    
2689 PAGES TODAY    
 
LAST MODIFIED: JANUARY-01-0001    

WALKER EVANS
[1903 - 1975] American photographer
Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts. - Walker Evans

Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long. - Walker Evans

The photographs are not illustrative. They, and the text, are coequal, mutually independent, and fully collaborative. By their fewness, and by the importance of the reader’s eye, this will be misunderstood by most of that minority which does not wholly ignore it. In the interests, however, of the history and future of photography, that risk seems irrelevant, and this flat statement necessary. - Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men : Three Tenant Families by James Agee, Walker Evans , ISBN: 0618127496
This book is available from Amazon.com
Send the Quote in Email

I think there is a period of esthetic discovery that happens to a man and he can do all sorts of things at white heat. - Walker Evans

With the camera, it's all or nothing. You either get what you're after at once, or what you do has to be worthless. I don't think the essence of photography has the hand in it so much. The essence is done very quietly with a flash of the mind, and with a machine. I think too that photography is editing, editing after the taking. After knowing what to take, you have to do the editing. - Walker Evans - 1971

Leaving aside the mysteries and the inequities of human talent, brains, taste, and reputations, the matter of art in photography may come down to this: it is the capture and projection of the delights of seeing; it is the defining of observation full and felt. - Walker Evans

The meaning of quality in photography’s best pictures lies written in the language of vision. That language is learned by chance, not system; ...our overwhelming formal education deals in words, mathematical figures and methods of rational thought, not in images. - Walker Evans - [cited in: "Creative Camera International Year Book 1978", Coo Press, London, 1977, p. 111]

Documentary: That’s a sophisticated and misleading word. And not really clear… The term should be documentary style… You see, a document has use, whereas art is really useless. - Walker Evans - Art in America, March-April 1971 , World History of Photography by Naomi Rosenblum , ISBN: 0789209462 , Page: 340
This book is available from Amazon.com
Send the Quote in Email
Tags: 

Photography is not cute cats, nor nudes, motherhood or arrangements of manufactured products. Under no circumstances it is anything ever anywhere near a beach. - Walker Evans - American Photography, 1984, 23 – 24. [“EW:100 – Centennial Essays in Honor of Edward Weston”, “Carmel: Beneficial to Bohemia” p. 48, Untitled 41, The Friends of Photography, Carmel, California 1986]

I'm sometimes called a 'documentary photographer' but... a man operating under that definition could take a sly pleasure in the disguise. Very often I'm doing one thing when I'm thought to be doing another. - Walker Evans
Send the Quote in Email
Tags: 

You talk about simplicity. When I first made photographs, they were too plain to be considered art and I wasn't considered an artist. I didn't get any attention at all. The people who looked at my work thought, well, that's just a snapshot of the backyard. Privately I knew otherwise and through stubbornness stayed with it... - Walker Evans

Detachment, lack of sentimentality, originality, a lot of things that sound rather empty. I know what they mean. Let’s say, "visual impact" may not mean much to anybody. I could point it out though. I mean it’s a quality that something has or does not have. Coherence. Well, some things are weak, some things are strong... - Walker Evans - On the question: "What makes a good photograph for you?"

I began to wonder – I knew I was an artist or wanted to be one – but I was wondering whether I really was an artist. I was doing such ordinary things that I could feel the difference. Most people would look at those things and say, “Well, that’s nothing. What did you do that for? That’s just a wreck of a car or a wreck of a man. That’s nothing. That isn’t art.” They don’t say that anymore. - Walker Evans

Privilege, if you're very strict, is an immoral and unjust thing to have, but if you've got it you didn't choose to get it and you might as well use it. You're privileged to be at Yale, but you know you're under an obligation to repay what's been put into you. - Walker Evans

I never took it upon myself to change the world. And those contemporaries of mine who were going around falling for the idea that they were going to bring down the United States government and make a new world were just asses to me. - Walker Evans

I used to try to figure out precisely what I was seeing all the time, until I discovered I didn't need to. If the thing is there, why, there it is. - Walker Evans - http://photo.net/street-documentary-photography-forum/007viW

Interviewer: "Do you think it's possible for the camera to lie?"
Walker Evans: "It certainly is. It almost always does."
- Walker Evans - From Walker Evans at Work, quoting Yale Alumni Magazine,

<< PREVIOUS  .  HOME  .  NEXT >>

Leave Comments

 
SEARCH PHOTOQUOTES
 
FREE NEWSLETTER!
 
 
TELL A FRIEND!
Recommend this site
to your friend