The photographer’s most important and likewise most difficult task is not learning to manage his camera, or to develop, or to print. It is learning to see photographically - that is, learning to see his subject matter in terms of the capacities of his tools and processes, so that he can instantaneously translate the elements and values in a scene before him into the photograph he wants to make.
1886 - 1958
. . . Brancusi in sculpture and Mattise in graphics were the two artists that particularly made one aware of respecting the integrity and truth of each medium whether it be marble, cedar, lithography, charcoal etc; that a pen behaves so differently from a brush, that to draw on copper with a fine nail suits certain subjects, that to draw with a greasy crayon on stone is perfect for others, the nude for example. I am not interested in the Marxist side of printmaking, cheaper originals. A good print should have the same feeling of ‘rightness’ that a one-off drawing should have . . .
Boxing Day 1982
Extract from Brett Whiteley, Graphics 1961-1982, AGWA 1983
Q: What was your relationship with Minor White like?
I loved Minor. He was a good human being. He taught me dedication to the medium, and he provided an atmosphere in the early years that made me see this was serious business.
But he also wasted a lot of time on me. Minor involved his students with ideas about Zen and spirituality through the medium of photography. It took me a few years to se it was really a deterrent to my working: I wanted to go directly to the source . . .
As one of my contemporaries who also went through the whole Zen thing with Minor said: ‘I tried everything, to psychotherapy, to hypnosis to touch sensation. Scotch worked best.’
Paul Caponegro interview with Kurt Markus 1978
Pub’ Creative Camera Magazine, UK, November 1978
The contemplation of things as they are, without substitution or imposture, without error or confusion, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention.
After years in China
with the fewest of strokes
the hardness of rocks
the twistedness of roots
The Most Difficult Area, pub 1968
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