Happy birthday, Diane Arbus! Here are some quotes from the photographer.
“The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.”
“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”
“If you scrutinize reality closely enough, if in some way you really, really get to it, it becomes fantastic.”
“What moves me about…what’s called technique…is that it comes from some mysterious deep place. I mean it can have something to do with the paper and the developer and all that stuff, but it comes mostly from some very deep choices somebody has made that take a long time and keep haunting them.”
“Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.”
“Lately, I’ve been struck with how I really love what you can’t see in a photograph.”
“For me, the subject of a picture is always more important than the picture. And more complicated.”
“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”
“Nothing is ever the same as they said it was.”
“Some pictures are tentative forays without your even knowing it. They become methods. It’s important to take bad pictures. It’s the bad ones that have to do with what you’ve never done before. They can make you recognize something you hadn’t seen in a way that will make you recognize it when you see it again.”
“I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.”
John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.