Walker Evans
 
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Artist in Self-Portrait, Paris 1926
 
Oh yes, I was a passionate photographer, and for a while somewhat guiltily, because I thought that this is a substitute for something else—well for writing, for one thing. … But I got very engaged and I was compulsive about it too. … It was a real drive. Particularly when the lighting was right. You couldn’t keep me in.

--Walker Evans quote. Daniel Mark Epstein, "The Passion of Walker Evans," (The New Criterion v. 18 no. 7, March, 2000)

I think Evans had a unique idea, which really distinguishes him from many other artists. He set himself up as a historical model to see the present as if it were already the past. And if he could do that at the time, he could stand for all time, and I think that his success is that he achieved his goal to photograph what was most American about America, but also to photograph those things in the present with the eye of tradition. And I think that those pictures are timeless.

--Jeff Rosenheim, the curator of photography at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York,"The Hungry Eye," (A NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Transcipt, PBS, April 6, 2000)