"Norma takes off where my heroes Bruce Davidson, Diane Arbus and Mary Ellen Mark left off—she clearly enjoys the same level of trust and intimacy as they did. Beautiful pictures."
— Sally Mann, "Best American Photographer" 2001, TIME Magazine.
"Norma brings a directness and familiarity to her work that puts you eye-to-eye with the subjects, where viewing the photos becomes something like spending time with old friends. Her photos have beautiful simplicity, giving them a timelessness that’s surprisingly rare and always refreshing."
— Mark Murrmann, photo editor for Mother Jones/The Foundation for National Progress
The trust between photographer and subject that developed over that time is evident. Quintana took her time learning the lineage of these circus families. She presents them not as freaks or compulsives, but as workers in a private, insular, now almost-extinct world.
— Mona Simpson author of Anywhere But Here, excerpt from introduction to Circus: A Traveling Life
Evocative, arresting, intimate, sublime--there is no shortage of adjectives to describe the unique beauty of Quintana's Circus: A Traveling Life. These images tenderly reveal both the magic and humanity of lives lived inside and beyond the rare glow of the center ring's spotlight.
— Chandra Prasad, author of Death of a Circus and On Borrowed Wings
Norma I. Quintana's Circus: A Traveling Life wonderfully balances artifice with truth. In her portraits, no matter how much glitter, makeup and pose these performers present her with, Norma reaches down into the heart, muscle and humanity of her subjects. Her revealing photographs only add to the magic of the circus.
— Linda Connor, San Francisco Art Institute professor of photography
Norma Quintana is an old friend of mine. It's no surprise to me to see, in these portraits, a level of familiarity and even intimacy with the performing artists. She is an incredibly warm, generous, caring individual and this comes through in her photographs. A portrait photographer must understand and put her subject at ease. That is Norma's true talent.
— Michael Ash, Photography Consultant, New York City
Photographer Norma I. Quintana loves people and nowhere is this more evident than in her book, Circus: A Traveling Life. Her empathetic portraits mixed with intimate moments indicate that Quintana has the ability to "be" with people and not pose and contort them into her own narrative. She allows her subjects to reveal parts of themselves to the viewer as she employs her creative eye and obvious understanding of who they are as people and not as exotic subjects for 'her' work. This position is where these images surpass the thousands of others that have gone before. In the end, she has produced a testimony to a 'true collaboration between subject and photographer,' as she writes in her afterward.
— Judy Walgren, San Francisco Director of Photography and recipient of 1994 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism
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