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GERHARD RICHTER
[b. 1932] German visual artist
Belief is something with many sides to it. Believing in pictures is like believing in God— or believing in pictures in a practical sense, at a time when painting is rather out of favor…. We're always creating pictures; take fashion, for example. We put something on because we believe in it, and we thereby offer a picture of ourselves that tells other people who we are and what we're like. The same happens in other ways— we're always creating pictures for other people to understand if they can. - Gerhard Richter - Aperture 145, 1996

What counts isn’t being able to do a thing, it’s seeing what it is. Seeing is the decisive act, and ultimately it places the maker and the viewer on the same level. - Gerhard Richter

The photograph is the most perfect picture. It does not change; it is absolute, and therefore autonomous, unconditional, devoid of style. - Gerhard Richter

Photography has almost no reality; it is almost a hundred percent picture. And painting always has reality... - Gerhard Richter

I like everything that has no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my paintings. (Because style is violent, and I am not violent.) - Gerhard Richter

When I paint from a photograph, conscious thinking is eliminated. I don’t know what I am doing... The photograph has an abstraction of its own, which is not easy to see through. - Gerhard Richter

I do not mean to attack anything at all. The most seemingly banal pictures are on the contrary the richest... A snapshot, when one conforms to it, becomes an extremely powerful factor... the family photo, with everyone well portrayed in the center of the image, is literally overflowing with life. - Gerhard Richter

To be filled with an idea is the greatest thing that can happen to me. Otherwise one is just empty. - Gerhard Richter

I have taken an interest in photography because it illustrates reality so well. - Gerhard Richter

All photographs are far more important than any painting. - Gerhard Richter

To make a photograph is already the first artificial act. - Gerhard Richter

The photograph is the only picture that can truly convey information, even if it is technically faulty and the object can barely be identified. A painting of a murder is of no interest whatever; but a photograph of a murder fascinates everyone. - Gerhard Richter

Throwaway snapshots come closest to achieving the state of pure picture. - Gerhard Richter

I had had enough of bloody painting, and painting from a photograph seemed to me the most moronic thing that anyone could do. - Gerhard Richter

I do not mistrust reality, of which I know next to nothing, but I am suspicious regarding the image of reality which our senses convey to us, and which is incomplete and limited. Our eyes have developed such as to survive. It is merely coincidence that we can see stars with them, as well. - Gerhard Richter

Every time we describe an event, add up a column of figures, or take a photograph of a tree, we create a model; without models we would know nothing about reality and would be like animals. - Gerhard Richter

Photography altered ways of seeing and thinking. Photographs were regarded as true, paintings as artificial. The painted picture was no longer credible; its representation froze into immobility, because it was not authentic but invented. - Gerhard Richter

[Photographs] being painted no longer tell of a specific situation, and the representation becomes absurd. - Gerhard Richter

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