Were there older photographers that interested you?
That you studied or looked at?
No. Nothing. Well, I did get excited over one Paul Strand picture. I remember his famous Blind Woman excited me very much. I said that’s the thing you do. That really charged me.
Do you remember what the qualities were of that photograph?
The Strand picture? Sure. It was strong and real it seemed to me. And a little bit shocking; brutal.
Well, those were qualities then that you worked for – right?
Well, that’s what attracted me in art. I mean I would read a book like Thompson’s Hunger and that was a joy because I thought that was real. It really wasn’t. But the lack of judgment of this particular youth – me – led me to believe that since I had a genteel upbringing that real life was starvation; so that it was honest to write about that. That’s all wrong; but that’s what I thought. I thought to photograph the Blind Woman was the thing to do.
Interview with Walker Evans. Conducted by Paul Cummings in Connecticut October 13, 1971 in New York City December 23, 1971.
[La transcription intégrale de l'entretien peut être lue ici.]