From "Alfred Stieglitz", an Aperture monograph by Dorothy Norman, 1960.
One must never hold back from telling the truth. We protect one another only by telling each other the truth.
There can be no finding of the truth unless one is truthful oneself. The search for being truthful - even if impeded - must be at the root of one’s search for truth. The hunger for truth, and for being truthful - like the hunger to love and be loved - inevitably falls short of absolute attainment. Yet the need and the hunger - these are at the root of the search of the lover and artist alike. The artist wishes to share with others both the truth that he has found, and his own truthfulness.
- It is not the mere hitting of the target that interests me. But rather the hitting of the center of the center of the bull’s eye. And then the point even beyond that...
- All art is a point of contact between the artist and the public. I have looked upon all of the places over which I have stood guard, and all of the art I have ever shown, as precisely such a point of contact... Plus a reaching for a point even beyond that...
- I prefer to steer clear of ugliness, and move along the path of development, not self-seeking...
Where there is no conscience, there can be no art.
- I cannot grasp why ugliness should be preferred to a fine line. That I cannot get into my head - or heart - or wherever the seat of comprehension may be in me. That is what I sometimes try to understand; why my eyes wander far beyond the hills and far beyond even the skies.
- I cannot understand those who wish to touch objects they feel to be beautiful. But I always must feel the sense of touch in any object before I feel it to be beautiful.
- Beauty begets beauty. Love begets love. Art begets art. Truth begets truth.
- I refuse to identify seeing with knowing. Seeing signifies awareness resulting from inner experience. Not by way of the experience of another. Not through institutionalization of ideas, nor theorizing.
- To see, means to know that one does not know, yet not to be ignorant. And then to act in the light of one’s knowledge. To learn signifies nothing unless what one claims to have learned is transformed into act. To care means to act in behalf of that about which one professes to care, even if to do so involves starving - giving up one’s entire life - even dying, in behalf of that bout which one claims to care...
- Where there is no conscience, there can be no art.
- Everyone has his blind spot, and until one knows what one’s own blind spot is, anything that one has to say about oneself must be meaningless...
- I have tried to teach the American people that there are certain thing that cannot be bought, cannot be sold, cannot be touched...
- When will the people grow beyond wanting to be sold something; beyond insisting upon bargaining for art? When will they learn voluntarily to protect for themselves what is theirs, if only they will know how to make it available for themselves?
- I always have believed that what people give in return for a work of art should be an equivalent of what they feel they can sacrifice, in order to free the artist to live; to create further, in freedom.... That, tome, is the proper price for art.
- The moment dictates for me what I must do. I have no theory about what the moment should bring. I am not attempting to be in more than one thing at a time. I am not in any hurry. I want nothing from anyone. I simply react to the moment. For, to me, all lived moments are equally true, equally important. Thus, only in being true to all moment, can one be true to any. It is in this sense that I say that I am the moment, but that I am the moment with all of myself.
When I am no longer thinking, but simply am, then I may be said to be truly affirming life. Not to know, but to let exist what is, that alone, perhaps, is truly to know.