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Aaron Siskind

  • American photographer
  • Born 1903
  • Died 1991

Aaron Siskind (December 4, 1903 – February 8, 1991) was an American photographer. He is considered one of the greatest artists in photography, and was closely involved with, if not a part of, the abstract expressionist movement.Siskind was a grade school English teacher in the New York Public School System for 25 years, and began photography when he received a camera as a wedding gift and began taking pictures on his honeymoon. Early in his career Siskind was a member of the New York Photo League, where he produced several significant socially conscious series of images in the 1930s, among them "Harlem Document".


Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.




Almost inevitably there are tensions in the picture, tensions between the outside world and the inside world. For me, a successful picture resolves these tensions without eliminating them.




In any art, you don't know in advance what you want to say - it's revealed to you as you say it. That's the difference between art and illustration.




I may be wrong, but the essential illustrative nature of most documentary photography, and the worship of the object per se, in our best nature photography, is not enough to satisfy the man of today, compounded as he is of Christ, Freud, and Marx.




We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect... but, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs.



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