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Walker Evans Quotes

Quotes by Walker Evans - (17 quotes)

Walker Evans - From the Artists category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Critics category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Culture category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Determination category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Difficulty category:

I do regard photography as an extremely difficult act. I believe the achievement of a work that is evocative and mysterious and, at the same time, realistic is a great one and a rare one - and perhaps sometimes almost an accident. (Walker Evans)

Walker Evans - From the Discovery category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Excellence category:

- on the question, What makes a good photograph for you?...
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)

Walker Evans - From the Language category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Obligation category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Observation category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Photography category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Photography category:

It's akin to hunting, photography is. In the same way, you're using a machine and you're actually shooting something and you're shooting to kill. You get the picture you want - that's a kill. That's a bull's-eye. (Walker Evans)

Walker Evans - From the Profession category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Reality category:

I like saying what's what. (Walker Evans)

Walker Evans - From the Seeing category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Seeing category:

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)

Walker Evans - From the Style category:

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)