In any profession it's common to learn from those who've gone before us, through their words or experiences. As an artistic photographer, here are the five best quotes on art I've ever read in random order, followed by how they speak to me.
“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people” ~ Vincent van Gogh
If you have come to appreciate my photography, then you know that I try to incorporate humanity in some form or way. Most of my life and childhood I would study people and human behavior, and then employ body language through my pictures to tell a story. Because of this, I deeply believe there is an art to love people, as in learning and getting to know (about) the human person.
“Sometimes I arrive just when God's ready to have someone click the shutter.” ~ Ansel Adams.
I can relate to this because it has actually happened with me several times. Pictures are a tool to record a moment in time, and sometimes the timing of that can only be explained as a God moment.
"Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face - the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited; and the wealth and confusion that man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man." ~ Edward Steichen - In "Time," 7 Apr 1961.
In this day and age of the smart phone camera, more pictures have been made than in the history of photography. I'm sure Steichen himself would be flabbergasted. So if you take the pictures of the here and now, and apply them to a decade or century from now, you get not only moments that speak to us today about our lives and culture but also make a contribution to history like never before.
“What's great about this country is America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.” ~ Andy Warhol
All of us, no matter our position in life, are born into this world the same way. Our experiences help us to respond to circumstances, but they are all the same just with a different name on it. God loves all of us the same, and these words are the best example from Warhol used to humanize this. I also appreciate how he kept personal the secret behind his art, and yet to express through it his beliefs as a devout Catholic.
"Some people have been kind enough to call me a fine artist. I've always called myself an illustrator. I'm not sure what the difference is. All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life." — Norman Rockwell
I've always related to the works of Rockwell. Not because he called his paintings pictures, which they were, but because of the detail of the story telling he used and the message he worked on each one to deliver to the viewer. Likewise, I've never considered myself an artist as much as I've viewed my responsibility to be a documentary photographer with an artistic flare.
Thank you for reading!
Frank J Casella
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