New most expensive photograph record :)

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by jazzle, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. jazzle

    jazzle SC Regular

    33
    Oct 14, 2011
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I saw this on another photography website and it really took off into crazy arguments. First, the size of it on the internet doesn't do it justice. The photo is massive and the artist is famous for his techniques of adjusting each pixel until the photo is perfect (this is a massive simplification of his technique). Having said all that, most people get irate when they see what appears to be a "boring" mediocre landscape photograph going for huge money. The "Mona Lisa" is a tedious portrait of a manly looking woman. "Saturday in the Park" is a bunch of polka dots and no great skill. Great art needs to be viewed in context.

    And frankly, even tiny on my monitor, I freaking love it. It soothes me. I love minimalist landscapes. If I had 1,000 million, I could almost consider giving up 4 of it for the original of this photo.
     
  3. jazzle

    jazzle SC Regular

    33
    Oct 14, 2011
    :) thanks for comment.

    I would say I am quite neutral when it comes to 'what is worth what'. as I fully understand the concept that 'if someone is willing to pay for a product for $X, the product is worth $X'. this goes to every single product in our market-driven economy.

    It is true that a small sample on a computer screen will not make justice. AFAIK, this picture is 6 foot by 12 foot. :D
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Michael Penn

    Michael Penn SC Veteran

    291
    Sep 14, 2010
    Philadelphia
    Not impressed. I've seen his work at MoMa and if it wasn't for the massive size of the photo I doubt the work would ever make it to auction. It's a shame that his work is going to fade quickly because of his printing method. Face mount to plexi, strike two.
     
  5. agree

    I agree, much of what passes for art I just don't get.

    If someone copied this picture and posted without the name attached, very few people would notice it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    Well, then I guess presentation is part of it being a work of art. In postmodern times, there are many total works oft art.
     
  7. Penny

    Penny SC Veteran

    384
    Aug 26, 2010
    Outside Liverpool Uk
    As the saying goes 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' I don't rate it but obviously some do.
     
  8. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    that seems like saying "if it weren't what it is, no one would be interested" ... perhaps if Guernica was painted on the back of a postcard, it wouldn;t have had the same impact ... they can only be judged on what they are, not as if they were something else ...
     
  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    If the guy can get this kind of money, more power to him.
    My question would be to the buyer. How do you justify spending this amount of money for your personal satisfaction? In the state of the worlds economy, that kind of money could feed, house and provide needed medical care for many.

    So buyer, please think about that as you sit and gaze upon your latest acquisition.
     
  10. Michael Penn

    Michael Penn SC Veteran

    291
    Sep 14, 2010
    Philadelphia
    That' what I'm saying. If it wasn't for the size no one would be interest in such a boring image. I find your comparision to a Picasso funny because now that photography has entered the art world there are those that expect it to act like it. You have a photographer the limits his editions to 6, only produces 2 prints a year, prints huge, uses a process that's far from archival. It's all marketing to the auction house naive. As the person posted above, if the name "Gursky" wasn't attached nobody would care.

    How does the old photography saying go......If you can't make it good make it big…
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I still like it. But maybe instead of turning this into a discussion of how the billionaire should spend his money or what a piece of garbage it is, we can turn it into a photography sharing thread. Anyone have a minimalist landscape they'd like to share?

    Here's one of my favorites...

    There's a storm comin' by Lukinosity, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I suppose I wonder when photography wasn't in "the art world" ... Gursky's image may bore you, and that is perfectly appropriate response, but it doesn't mean to say that it doesn't have aesthetic value ... the point about comparing it with Guernica is not to propose them as equal pieces of art (that is for another discussion) but to suggest and emphasise that the scale and size of a piece of work may be integral to the impact that it has, and is part of the artist's intent ...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
  14. Michael Penn

    Michael Penn SC Veteran

    291
    Sep 14, 2010
    Philadelphia
    Ben Burdett, the director of the Atlas Gallery in London, says the market hype was part of the problem. “Photography requires a lot of connoisseurship and understanding of the medium. With all those dollars being spent on Gursky four or five years ago, some of that went out of the window. People were buying it because it was a Gursky and it was the thing to have. Gursky took on a cult status, like Hirst,” said Burdett.

    Pre 1970 the New York Times wouldn't list photography because "Photography is not considered art"


    Even the landscape photographer Josef Hoflehner who I personally know said that if he wanted to sell more prints he would make his larger and in color. Says a lot about the market.
     
  15. AzPete

    AzPete SC Veteran

    404
    Dec 24, 2010
    Personally and you asked for it: our society is just turned ass backwards. Im not saying you cant do what you want, Im just saying
    we put our money where we want it to be, not where it should be..... But to offer millions of dollars to satisfy one's ego is just mind
    blowing..... thanks
    Pete
     
  16. Michael Penn

    Michael Penn SC Veteran

    291
    Sep 14, 2010
    Philadelphia
    Pete the price doesn't include the buyer's premium (maybe) or insurance.
     
  17. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    A lot of any current art market is marketing. And I read the other day an editorial about the relationship between fine artists, galleries, and fine art buyers. Galleries want art that displays well (it appears that large color photographs display well!) and appeal to high-end fine art buyers, and fine art buyers shop at those galleries and think that is fine art, and fine artists make that kind of art because it sells. It feeds on itself.

    Have you ever been to Las Vegas and seen the galleries there? Who buys that stuff???

    Oddly, even though I'm a photographer, when I buy art, which is rarely, it is in most cases not photography. Though I did recently come across a gallery with Saul Leiter prints that I love and inquired about them. At $4000 a print I said "let me think about it" :eek:

    And some advice please... my wife and I are interested in buying more art to fill the blank walls in our house. We are quite picky. But my question is, where does one go to buy good art that is not exorbitantly expensive? How does one find local galleries that are not aimed at the "fine art" buyer? Are auctions an option (my weekends are usually packed with kid activities)? Estate sales? Online?

    My favorite pieces so far are pieces that I stumbled on or happened to find online, and buy direct from the artists. No middle man involved. But at the rate that that is occurring I'll be in a vase on the mantle by the time our walls are covered with art.

    And how do you determine what to spend on art? I scoffed at the $4000 price tag of those Saul Leiter prints, but I have to keep in mind he is a historically relevant artist. I've never paid more than a couple hundred dollars for anything (unframed), and we have a few really nice pieces.
     
  18. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Andrew, maybe you should pick out some images from the vast collection on this site.
    Make a deal with the members and then have images you personally relate to.
    That's an investment in each others souls. What better way to fill a few walls?

    Pete...... Ya got it.....
    Don
     
  19. Michael Penn

    Michael Penn SC Veteran

    291
    Sep 14, 2010
    Philadelphia
    Andrewteee all good questions. Like I've always said...Artists don't belong in the art world.

    I've traded with a lot of good photographers over the last year and even a couple of painters. Personally i don't think you are going to find too many galleries with affordable prices.
     
  20. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    ooh that's interesting, I hadn't come across him before and so wasn't thinking of him in particular ... but thanks Don ... yes, that's related to what I'm saying

    Worth saying that I simply don't see photography as fundamentally different from any other form of image making (though it has some aspects that are unique to it both technically and philosophically - as does the use of oil paint, or screenprinting or sculpture of course) ....

    If I print one of my photographs , I have to make a decision about how big (or small!) it's going to be printed ... do I want the spectator to lean in close to it? Or step back from it? Or be enveloped by it? The decision about how I mount it or frame it (or not) has to made too. Each decision will be based on how I want it to be seen or even how I hope it will be seen by others.

    Similarly for Picasoo, Gursky, Close, Springer, and Penn ...

    Size matters ... I bet Rhein II wouldn't have fetched the money it has if it had been a 10x8 print on archival paper ... but then it wouldn't have been the work it is ... I don't have an axe to grind about Gursky's work in particular either ... the price is indeed ridiculous, but for me it's not ridiculous because it's for what is ostensibly "just" a photograph, but because art prices are just bloody ridiculous ...