— Man Ray American artist and photographer 1890 - 1976
Context: l paint what cannot be photographed, and l photograph what l do not wish to paint. lf it is a portrait that interests me, a face, or a nude, I will use my camera. It is quicker than making a drawing or a painting. But if it is something I cannot photograph, like a dream or a subconscious impulse I have to resort to drawing or painting. To express what I feel I use the medium best suited to express that idea, which is also always the most economical one. l am not at all interested in being consistent as a painter, and object-maker or a photographer. I can use several different techniques, like the old masters who were engineers, musicians and poets at the same time. I have never shared the contempt shown by painters for photography: there is no competition involved, painting and photography are two media engaged in different paths. There is no conflict between the two.
As quoted in Man Ray : The Rigour of Imagination (1977) by Arturo Schwarz, p. 10 <!-- also in Man Ray : Photographs and Objects (1980) by Birmingham Museum of Art -->
Variant: I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive. I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence.
As quoted in an interview "Man Ray: Photographer" published in Camera (1981) edited by Philippe Sers <!-- and in The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (1993) edited by Robert Andrews, p. 686 -->