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EDWARD JOSEPH RUSCHA
[b. 1937] American artist associated with the pop art movement
l never take pictures just for the taking of pictures... l want the end product; that's what I'm really interested in... I use it to do a job, which is to make a book. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

Unfortunately, there was no Jackson Pollock of the camera. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

Above all, the photographs I use are not “arty” in any sense of the word. I think photography is dead as fine art; its only place is in the commercial world, for technical or information purposes. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

The fact that few “painter-fine-artists” used photography in their work made it appealing. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

My pictures are not that interesting, nor the subject matter. They are simply a collection of “facts;” my book is more like a collection of “Ready-mades.” - Edward Joseph Ruscha

Yes, there’s a certain power to a photograph. The camera has a way of disorienting a person, if it wants to and, for me, when it disorients, it’s got real value. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

I just use [the camera]. I just pick it up like an axe when I’ve got to chop down a tree. I pick up a camera and go out and shoot the pictures I have to shoot. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

I never take pictures just for the taking of pictures... I want the end product; that’s what I’m really interested in. It’s strictly a medium to use or not to use, and I use it only when I have to use it. I use it to do a job, which is to make a book. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

When I first did the book on gasoline stations, people would look at it and say, “Are you kidding or what? Why are you doing this?” In a sense, that’s what I was after: I was after the head-scratching. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

I believe in intuition and approaching things as instant gratification. Just do the things you want to do, make the kind of pictures you want to make. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

There were no rules to be written, and no rules to be followed in the same sense that there are in painting and sculpture and other forms of art. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

I wanted to make a book of some kind. And at the same time, I—my whole attitude about everything came out in this one phrase that I made up for myself, which was “twenty-six gasoline stations.” I worked on that in my mind for a long time and I knew that title before the book had even come about. And then, paradoxically, the idea of the photographs of the gasoline stations came around, so it’s an idea first—and then I kind of worked it down. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

It’s a playground, is all it is. Photography’s just a playground for me. I’m not a photographer at all. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

The photography by itself doesn’t mean anything to me: it’s the gas station, that’s the important thing. - Edward Joseph Ruscha

Hand-crafted photographic prints are dead as a fine art. I think the real fine art of photography is in picture-making. The making of an impression of a negative onto photographic paper is not as important as the actual picture value of the image, which could be reproduced in a magazine, a newspaper, or a ten cent xerox. - Edward Joseph Ruscha - 1979

Originally, I thought that the pictures were a means to an end, a vehicle to make a book. And than along the way came some gear shifting. Over the years, I began to appreciate print quality and see my photographs as not necessarily reproductions for a book but having their own life as gelatin silver prints. - Edward Joseph Ruscha - 2004

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