ROBERT FRANK: “A Statement” (1958)


Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
this quote is pretty bold..... “To produce an authentic contemporary document, the visual impact should be such as will nullify explanation”

I wish I could ever be good enough at anything to say something like that (and even have a shred of truth in it).

There's a certain element of intellectualism (sometimes for its' own sake) in photography (and it's dissemination) that simultaneously draws me in and turns me off. But the photos are so good, I just don't care.


Bangalore, India
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I agree. And to write that in his statement of purpose and set out and deliver it in spades... gives me the shivers it does.

I happened to meet the "old ladies of Guggenheim" at a dinner in India, where they had come to evaluate a collection of Indian modern art. All sporting canes, colourful Etro scarves, and very chatty and completely 'normal'. I was quite taken aback. It was a closed gathering, with just the host (collector) and my partner and me, and the Guggenheim women, about 10 of them. The average age between them would be about 80 (ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but only slightly). They were all kinds of wonderful, really. Obviously informed and insightful, and one could sense a deep sense of hunger and curiosity about the art presented to them over the visit. One particular installation occupied a whole room, and comprised of a full sized pink Cadillac convertible with a stainless steel dinosaur skeleton crouched over from the rear, about 10 feet high, with a gigantic mechanical plallus that umm... worked. Didn't phase them one bit.

When I was reading Robert Frank's statement, I could totally picture the "old ladies of Guggenheim" (back then maybe not so old) crouched over a coffee table discussing his letter, and then handing him the money for his project. It's just the kind of thing I'd imagine they would do.