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Microstock Photography Forum - General => General Photography Discussion => Topic started by: cathyslife on November 11, 2011, 06:33

Title: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: cathyslife on November 11, 2011, 06:33
This was on Yahoo news this morning. It just goes to show that you never know what photograph will be a best-seller or will capture someone's eye.

http://news.yahoo.com/record-photo-sold-auction-set-nyc-182745446.html (http://news.yahoo.com/record-photo-sold-auction-set-nyc-182745446.html)

NEW YORK (AP) — A 1999 photograph of the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky has sold for $4.3 million in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction.

Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass, had a pre-sale estimate of $2.5 million to $3.5 million.

It sold Tuesday at Christie's. The buyer was not disclosed.

The previous record for any photography sold at auction was Cindy Sherman's "Untitled," which fetched $3.8 million at Christie's in May.

Gursky's panoramic image of the Rhine is one of an edition of six photographs. Four are in major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: nicku on November 11, 2011, 06:46
One sale at this sum and i will  certainly retire... ;D
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: ShadySue on November 11, 2011, 06:46
Words fail me.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: dreamstock on November 11, 2011, 06:49
would this photo be accepted by any of stock agencies?  ;D
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RapidEye on November 11, 2011, 06:51
Had to check it wasn't April Fool's Day.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: jm on November 11, 2011, 06:53
This world goes crazy. My father shoots similar images and I delete his images from camera.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: DiscreetDuck on November 11, 2011, 06:54
It is not about a photo that was sold, but about money that was given...
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: frank_photocase on November 11, 2011, 07:04
would this photo be accepted by any of stock agencies?  ;D

absolutely! :)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on November 11, 2011, 07:08
The sale price may well be too high, but could also be an investment when the author is famous, especially in the current European economic situation. If I had $4.3 million to spend, I'd certainly buy art, not bonds or shares.

And we must aknowledge that art and stock are different things. As a piece of art, I like that photo: the old saying "less is more" comes to my mind. Printed at 81 x 140 inches (info found elsewhere on the internet) it must look impressive in the living room as a background for your next party's electronic dj-set.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: OM on November 11, 2011, 07:24
Phew. What a relief............the bankster and hedge fund managers bonuses must still be intact.

Not so much about the photo but look how I outbid everyone.  ;)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on November 11, 2011, 07:24
And we must aknowledge that art and stock are different things. As a piece of art, I like that photo: the old saying "less is more" comes to my mind. Printed at 81 x 140 inches (info found elsewhere on the internet) it must look impressive in the living room as a background for your next party dj-set.


We're talking about the same snapshot, yes?

http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ap_webfeeds/0dc50e8548d51d19fe0e6a706700f3b1.jpg (http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ap_webfeeds/0dc50e8548d51d19fe0e6a706700f3b1.jpg)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on November 11, 2011, 07:30
Yes, compare it with a normal picture of a river from a similar point of view, such as my own "Picture of River Elbe in Dessau, Germany" below.

In my photo there are a lot of distracting elements such as trees and clouds and shadows and the path and grass in front, and it's nothing as simple and pure. And blue skies are boring (although stock sites like them). That's why you can have have it for just 25 EUR. However, it's still a bargain if you lost that auction!

 http://www.mostphotos.com/921411/river-elbe (http://www.mostphotos.com/921411/river-elbe)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: ShadySue on November 11, 2011, 07:35
The main problem with your photo is that the light isn't flat enough.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: cathyslife on November 11, 2011, 08:40
The main problem with your photo is that the light isn't flat enough.

 :D

I understand what you mean about the simplicity of the photo, as art, and I agree, but $4.3 million? Really?
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RT on November 11, 2011, 08:50
I love reading stories where somebody in the "art" world is stupid enough to pay this much money for a low quality snapshot, what's even more enjoyable is knowing that the buyer will be discussing the artistic virtues of this photo whilst any educated person will be laughing at them. What would make it even better is to discover it was taken by the guys dog on his cameraphone.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: click_click on November 11, 2011, 09:02
It's not about the image itself or the quality of it. Artists like that are like industries, they have funding and lobbyists that push their work into galleries and claim artistic value.

Obviously Gursky's approach is to cram a wide angle view or many subjects into an image. It's not a very sophisticated, artistic approach IMHO. It certainly is not a lot of work. However, it's his trademark.

How could anyone come up with a price for an image and claim it's worth millions? What justifies a price like that? Nothing.

All you have to do is to find a buyer that has more money than sanity and convince them that this is the best shiznick in the world...
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Difydave on November 11, 2011, 09:11
If we can't see it's value as art, then it must be because we don't understand it. :)

At least that's what I was told by someone in a gallery once.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: OM on November 11, 2011, 09:17
If we can't see it's value as art, then it must be because we don't understand it. :)

Or.........You obviously don't have enough money to make it worth my while talking to you. Greater fools to fleece! G'day!  ;D
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: ShadySue on November 11, 2011, 09:26
The main problem with your photo is that the light isn't flat enough.

 :D

I understand what you mean about the simplicity of the photo, as art, and I agree, but $4.3 million? Really?

Oh, that wasn't me. I think the photo is pretty bad, putting it mildly. And it lacks my signature horizon tilt.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 11, 2011, 09:49
My daughter just identified the genre and value: "[email protected]" and "nothing". I guess she'll never get a job at Christie's (nor will I).
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: WarrenPrice on November 11, 2011, 10:00
Fine example of Limited Commercial Value.   :P
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: cidepix on November 11, 2011, 10:02
Stupidity has no limits.. Some people just have money to burn!
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Gooner on November 11, 2011, 10:11
Gursky has a lot of really impressive photographs in his portfolio.

This is not one of them...
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Microstock Posts on November 11, 2011, 10:31
Stupidity has no limits.. Some people just have money to burn!

At least if he burnt his money he would have got a warm feeling. According to this (http://blog.melchersystem.com/2011/11/10/for-whom-the-mallet-falls/), the photo was bought from a collector by a collector, so the photographer won't get anything.

However, if the photographer rummages through his hard drive, I'm sure he could find a photo at least twice as good and therefore sell it off for 8.6 million. :D
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: LSD72 on November 11, 2011, 10:40
Hmmm, what to do? Throw my hands up and give up... or go on the hunt for a blind rich person?  ::)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Elenathewise on November 11, 2011, 10:56
Well in this business you can either provide useful services or images to people who need them (weddings, portraits, stock, etc...) or you put a lot of effort in building up your name/brand first. Once a couple of museums are convinced that you're something special and purchase some of your work, you can sell any mediocre image for ridiculous money. Its becomes all about the name. It's very hard to get to that level but once you there you just cash in. It seems to me that, sadly, most people just don't have their own opinions about art and rely on others to tell them what's good. And it looks like it's pretty random.
This image is interesting, clean lines, just 2 colors and it's geometrically pleasing, but it's definitely very far from being unique enough to fetch this kind of money in my opinion.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: rubyroo on November 11, 2011, 11:02
I saw some of Gursky's work at the Tate Modern once.  It was really impressive.  I'm kind of surprised by this one though.  I haven't seen it before, and it doesn't bear any relation to the work I saw on exhibition.  Wouldn't have guessed it had anything to do with Gursky if I hadn't read the article.  I guess the collector is investing in the name 'Gursky', ultimately.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: luissantos84 on November 11, 2011, 11:26
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rhein_II.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rhein_II.jpg)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: borg on November 11, 2011, 13:58
Money laundry...
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RacePhoto on November 11, 2011, 14:16
Interesting, I learned two new words today. c-print and Plexi-mounting

“C-prints are unstable, especially [those dating] from the early 1990s. I recommend anyone [interested in collecting these] go to the big auctions to see the photographs from the early 90s that are being sold for a million pounds: the cyan is gone or is going fast.”

Wilson said that photographers such as Gursky and other contemporaries of his “experimented with [processes] that were not established”. He also questioned whether a new print of a photograph could be as authentic as the original edition.


Whole article here:  http://theartnewspaper.com/articles/C-prints-fade-into-the-light/20892 (http://theartnewspaper.com/articles/C-prints-fade-into-the-light/20892)

Wow someone paid $4 Million for something that's unstable and may fade in a decade?

Face mounted Plexiglass, which I have to admit is really attractive, runs slightly under $1 a square inch. 8 x 10 was $135 but the larger sizes like I'd be doing for a panorama would be in the $300 - $400 area, per print. (not including the printing)

I'll be sticking to my poster frames with the slip on edges and the aluminum rail frames I find at rummage sales for $2-3 each. Last one the frame was $2, (example below) glass front and the custom print was $14. Then I have the print made to fit the frame. That's easy? 8x10s in $1 - Dollar Store" frames, are in the photo for size comparison.

Since this is smaller, I'd say $50,000 for a limited edition one of two copies. I keep mine, buyer gets the other one, plexi-mounted.  ::) 

(http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/6092/clavawoodsframe.jpg)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: jbarber873 on November 11, 2011, 14:48
I saw some of Gursky's work at the Tate Modern once.  It was really impressive.  I'm kind of surprised by this one though.  I haven't seen it before, and it doesn't bear any relation to the work I saw on exhibition.  Wouldn't have guessed it had anything to do with Gursky if I hadn't read the article.  I guess the collector is investing in the name 'Gursky', ultimately.

   I agree. I saw the Gursky show at MOMA, and thought it was great. The presentation is key- very large prints of excellent quality. As with all modern art, a large element is the concept and the "shock of the new". However, I think I will spend my millions elsewhere, or even my 50 thousands. ( Sorry, Race! )
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RacePhoto on November 11, 2011, 15:25
I saw some of Gursky's work at the Tate Modern once.  It was really impressive.  I'm kind of surprised by this one though.  I haven't seen it before, and it doesn't bear any relation to the work I saw on exhibition.  Wouldn't have guessed it had anything to do with Gursky if I hadn't read the article.  I guess the collector is investing in the name 'Gursky', ultimately.

   I agree. I saw the Gursky show at MOMA, and thought it was great. The presentation is key- very large prints of excellent quality. As with all modern art, a large element is the concept and the "shock of the new". However, I think I will spend my millions elsewhere, or even my 50 thousands. ( Sorry, Race! )

Darn I thought I was retiring to go into photography full time!  :'(

It isn't like Gursky is an overnight sensation, he's been doing fine work for a long time. Big and modern and style that's impressive. I was only mocking the prices and possibility that they will fade soon. Kind of strange when art is on the cutting edge of technology. Nice that it's digital and the owners can possibly get exact reprints made? No negatives to get scratched, no fading or fungus on the originals.

They have recalls for cars, and other products, why not art?
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: pet_chia on November 11, 2011, 15:36
Money laundry...

I was thinking something along those lines ... or maybe a tax dodge where you buy the photo for $4M, donate it to an art museum and get a charitable donation receipt for $6M ... perhaps after waiting a year or two for the photo to "appreciate".

When I see such an absurd price being paid for something then it makes me think that something complicated and devious is going on which involves government tax laws.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RapidEye on November 11, 2011, 15:47
I saw the Gursky show at MOMA, and thought it was great. The presentation is key- very large prints of excellent quality. As with all modern art, a large element is the concept and the "shock of the new". However, I think I will spend my millions elsewhere, or even my 50 thousands. ( Sorry, Race! )

I have difficulty with the very idea of art, at least the modern conceptual kind. Seems that if you say you're an artist, and you do the right brown-nosing and self-promotion, you might strike it lucky and end up with work worth millions. Much of what gets lionised as art just comes off as silly in its desperate eagerness to be novel. Of course Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin come to mind.

Until fairly recently in human history there was no notion of art in the modern sense. It was just illustration and decoration, and a lot more decorative it was too.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: rubyroo on November 11, 2011, 17:34
   I agree. I saw the Gursky show at MOMA, and thought it was great. The presentation is key- very large prints of excellent quality. As with all modern art, a large element is the concept and the "shock of the new". However, I think I will spend my millions elsewhere, or even my 50 thousands. ( Sorry, Race! )

You're so right, what was so striking was the sheer scale, the vibrance, the repetitive patterning, the density (or is it 'dense-ness').  Really amazing and quite overpowering in some cases.  It's not possible to appreciate these things outside of actually seeing the work at full size in a gallery (which is, after all, how it was intended to be seen... I'm sure a lot of artists would be quite miffed to have their work judged on the basis of a diddy little thumbnail on the Internet).

@ Race - hmmm.. that loss of colour is quite a problem!

@ RapidEye - I've seen Hurst's work up close in galleries also, and I agree with you.  I wasn't impressed by that at all.  I really don't get that guy's work.  I've never seen Emin's work up close and personal, but I believe she has a great interest in and skill with needlecrafts.  I would prefer to see real craftsmanship put on show, rather than streams of controversial installations and the manifestation of artists' personal inner exorcisms.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: OM on November 11, 2011, 17:43
Money laundry...

I was thinking something along those lines ... or maybe a tax dodge where you buy the photo for $4M, donate it to an art museum and get a charitable donation receipt for $6M ... perhaps after waiting a year or two for the photo to "appreciate".

When I see such an absurd price being paid for something then it makes me think that something complicated and devious is going on which involves government tax laws.

There is, of course, one angle that could be looked at. It's the one in which 'assets' like stocks and property only get bought in rising markets based on the greater fool theory..........ie there's always a bigger fool who will pay more than you paid for an 'asset' in a rising market. Suppose that the buyer of that work is a collector who already has some other works by the same artist bought at a much lower price but he needs some extra collateral for a large loan. He wants the highest price possible so that his collection is worth more . Lets just imagine that as a collector/dealer that he knows a few people in the same position. They all get together, pool some loot and decide to bid on the latest offering at auction. But contrary to normal practice, they don't want the work to be bought for the lowest price but the highest price and they decide between themselves what the price will be. Or maybe they involve a rich patsy, talk up the work until the guy must have it whether it costs $ 2 or $4 million, once committed, he's gotta have it so they bid it up against him. Once the auction is over and the highest price ever for a work by that artist has been established, the 'club' has collections/collateral that maybe just multiplied in value by a factor of 10.........everybody happy..........you bet your life they are. ;D
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: madelaide on November 11, 2011, 17:46
would this photo be accepted by any of stock agencies?  ;D

But then smiling business people would never make that much in an auction. :D
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: lisafx on November 11, 2011, 17:57
Had to check it wasn't April Fool's Day.

I can't persuade my husband it isn't a hoax.  

Some idiot throws away 4.3 mil. for that, but you better not ask him to pay his taxes.   ::)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: click_click on November 11, 2011, 18:14
For $4.3M I would be bothered about the blended edges left over from PTGUI or whatever else he used to stitch it together.

Another point IMO that it's not even about the image or it's technical qualities. Just lobbyists caressing each others ball$.

http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ap_webfeeds/0dc50e8548d51d19fe0e6a706700f3b1.jpg (http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ap_webfeeds/0dc50e8548d51d19fe0e6a706700f3b1.jpg)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: SNP on November 11, 2011, 19:25

Seems that if you say you're an artist, and you do the right brown-nosing and self-promotion, you might strike it lucky and end up with work worth millions. Much of what gets lionised as art just comes off as silly in its desperate eagerness to be novel.

I agree this is the case...probably more than I'd like to think. in this case, I certainly agree. other than great lines, I wouldn't recognize this photograph as anything remarkable. in fact, it's quite flat. maybe it's being ironic. I really liked the Cindy Sherman photo that was the previous record holder. attaching monetary value to art will always be a sketchy business, pardon the pun.

I'm a big fan of Jackson Pollock's work....and he's another classic example of an artist people mock, stating they could spill some paint and call it art too. I see order in his work, consistency and intent. I think it is very deliberate chaos.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on November 11, 2011, 22:34
Well, I'm one to judge on merits, and this was nothing better than a walk by snapshot.  Obviously, there's something suspicious going on here.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: SNP on November 12, 2011, 02:34
I agree the photo is boring. could have been nothing more than a test shot, I would hesitate to even call it a snapshot because there's really nothing to it. but suspicious? I think you're giving the buyer too much credit.

in the National Gallery of Canada we have a room filled with a dyed-black cord stretched from ceiling corner to floor. It's ridiculous. One of Four Diagonals. http://www.gallery.ca/en/see/collections/artwork.php?mkey=8631 (http://www.gallery.ca/en/see/collections/artwork.php?mkey=8631)

Then there's Voice of Fire, which was $1.8 million dollars.....another testament to our fabulous art collection in Canada. if only I had known, I would have stockpiled blue and red paint and found myself an 18' canvas.  http://www.gallery.ca/en/see/collections/artwork.php?mkey=35828 (http://www.gallery.ca/en/see/collections/artwork.php?mkey=35828)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: qwerty on November 12, 2011, 03:03
I've got a few bridges, tuplip's and emperor's new clothes for sale if anybody wants some.

art markets is something I shake my head at. There is no relationship to anything that justifies prices.

Now if someone could get me this sale I'd give them 90% commission. Those photos gathering dust on my hard drive just became more valuable. 
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 12, 2011, 03:12

Now if someone could get me this sale I'd give them 90% commission.

Don't say that! Istock and Fotolia will make it the standard rate if they hear anyone is willing to accept it.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: qwerty on November 12, 2011, 03:21

Now if someone could get me this sale I'd give them 90% commission.

Don't say that! Istock and Fotolia will make it the standard rate if they hear anyone is willing to accept it.

lol  hadn't thought of that, hopefully I get a $4million sale before they cut the rates.

Istock will probably come out with a super agency collection, $4,000,000 for a Xsmall. Even some of Edstock's photos are up to this high standard of german river photography.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: cathyslife on November 12, 2011, 09:35
The main problem with your photo is that the light isn't flat enough.

 :D

I understand what you mean about the simplicity of the photo, as art, and I agree, but $4.3 million? Really?

Oh, that wasn't me. I think the photo is pretty bad, putting it mildly. And it lacks my signature horizon tilt.

I know, I should have separated my thoughts a little better, sorry. I was laughing at your flat light comment (so true) and referring to microstockphotos comment about simplicity and art.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RapidEye on November 12, 2011, 09:47
I would prefer to see real craftsmanship put on show, rather than streams of controversial installations and the manifestation of artists' personal inner exorcisms.

That's it exactly. There was a time when all art was craft, even if not all craft was art. Only in the past couple of decades has it been possible -- even preferable -- for art to be produced without any kind of admirable skill.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: rubyroo on November 12, 2011, 10:55
Very well put, RapidEye.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: helix7 on November 12, 2011, 12:06
And yet with such a leveled playing field, where expensive fine art can seemingly be created by just about anyone, why aren't more people doing it? Surely every photographer in this forum has the technical capabilities to capture an image like this. If you think you can do it and print it like Gursky, why not go after your own career as a wealthy artist?

The shot itself is a minor factor. And while many folks here could walk by that same river on a dreary day and compose the same shot, I think we all know that that's the easy part. The rest of the story and how an image gets elevated to this status is a whole other endeavor that can takes years, even decades.

This all makes me wonder if we'll ever see digital images reach million-dollar auction status someday. Could a vector image print ever sell for $4.3 million? :)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RapidEye on November 12, 2011, 13:34
More people aren't doing it because at its upper levels the fine art world is a closed circuit of pseuds -- artists, critics and patrons. Fine art isn't something whose value is determined by mass markets or popular acclaim. It's consensus among an in-crowd of dahlings and bullshitters that does it.

This is one thing I like about microstock. Sure, it's not fine art in any sense, but it is an artistic product that rises or falls according to its appeal and utility in a purer way than any single on the pop charts.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: cathyslife on November 12, 2011, 14:04
More people aren't doing it because at its upper levels the fine art world is a closed circuit of pseuds -- artists, critics and patrons. Fine art isn't something whose value is determined by mass markets or popular acclaim. It's consensus among an in-crowd of dahlings and bullshitters that does it.

This is one thing I like about microstock. Sure, it's not fine art in any sense, but it is an artistic product that rises or falls according to its appeal and utility in a purer way than any single on the pop charts.

Well said.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Artemis on November 12, 2011, 14:05
*snip*

This is one thing I like about microstock. Sure, it's not fine art in any sense, but it is an artistic product that rises or falls according to its appeal and utility in a purer way than any single on the pop charts.
c'mon, microstock has nothing to do with an 'artistic product'; its about flat commerce, and the more commercial it is the better it sells.
It's only 'appeal' is its commercial value (and its often 'the tackier the better' too)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Elenathewise on November 12, 2011, 14:10
*snip*

This is one thing I like about microstock. Sure, it's not fine art in any sense, but it is an artistic product that rises or falls according to its appeal and utility in a purer way than any single on the pop charts.
c'mon, microstock has nothing to do with an 'artistic product'; its about flat commerce, and the more commercial it is the better it sells.
It's only 'appeal' is its commercial value (and its often 'the tackier the better' too)
Can't agree. Tacky shots sometimes sell, but a lot of microstock's bestsellers are very nice and aesthetically pleasing images.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RapidEye on November 12, 2011, 14:46
Microstock is as artistic as any ancient Greek vase painting or medieval religious fresco. It serves much the same purpose -- to illustrate in ways that please.

Yes, it is the handmaiden of commerce and one can find plenty of fault with that, but it doesn't mean it's not artistic. As opposed to Art.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RapidEye on November 12, 2011, 14:55
On a related note, I think the invention of photography is responsible for the peculiar rarefied condition of modern fine art. For millennia, artists strove mostly to create ever better techniques to depict people and things, but that project was suddenly destroyed. Into the vacuum marched the conceptualists.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Artemis on November 12, 2011, 14:56
Microstock is as artistic as any ancient Greek vase painting or medieval religious fresco. It serves much the same purpose -- to illustrate in ways that please.

Yes, it is the handmaiden of commerce and one can find plenty of fault with that, but it doesn't mean it's not artistic. As opposed to Art.
Likewise "art' shouldnt be judged using the same commercial driven standards as stock. :)
I'm not denying there's microstock work that has artistic value; but i also see very often that when someone uses a somewhat artistic lighting and slaps some filter on top of it everyone starts calling it 'art' made by a great 'artist'. It just strikes me many people only can look at photography through stock glasses.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RapidEye on November 12, 2011, 15:05
I'm not denying there's microstock work that has artistic value; but i also see very often that when someone uses a somewhat artistic lighting and slaps some filter on top of it everyone starts calling it 'art' made by a great 'artist'. It just strikes me many people only can look at photography through stock glasses.

Oh yes, we have our fair share of pseuds in microstock too. But as you can guess from my general tone, I'm sceptical about judgments of what constitutes "art".

If instead of appealing to hocus-pocus we define art as a cultural product that possesses the power to move people (possibly the only definition that makes any sense) then it's a broad funnel indeed.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Artemis on November 12, 2011, 15:37
So essentially we don't disagree...
I love Gursky's work, think he's a great artist and like this picture too; whether its worth $4.3 million, probably not. But are Vincent Van Gogh's sunflowers worth the $39 million they sold for? Are all the great masters worth the enormous amounts payed for them?
It's an industry with artificially high prices, just like in the music, fashion, sports, etc. industries...  technically its maybe, probably all not worth it, but there are peeps out there rich and crazy enough...
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RapidEye on November 12, 2011, 16:53
So essentially we don't disagree...
I love Gursky's work, think he's a great artist and like this picture too; whether its worth $4.3 million, probably not. But are Vincent Van Gogh's sunflowers worth the $39 million they sold for? Are all the great masters worth the enormous amounts payed for them?
It's an industry with artificially high prices, just like in the music, fashion, sports, etc. industries...  technically its maybe, probably all not worth it, but there are peeps out there rich and crazy enough...

Sunflowers is probably the second most famous picture in the world. Such celebrity is bound to command a fearsome price. This Gursky? Not so famous. I confess I'd never seen his work until now. Some of it looks nice enough but it doesn't blow me away. This particular image ... well ... if I'd shot it I wouldn't have bothered to print it.

If any photo was going to set a world auction record I'd have expected it to be one of the well-known ones by legendary dead photographers. That this one commands the top price is just weird.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: markrhiggins on November 12, 2011, 16:59
I am so so upset. I deleted a better version off my camera. I could have even added a person with a release.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: rinderart on November 12, 2011, 17:24
What do we think of this womans work. she sells out and also sells out her books.

http://www.susanmikula.com/ (http://www.susanmikula.com/)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: qwerty on November 12, 2011, 17:47
What do we think of this womans work. she sells out and also sells out her books.

[url]http://www.susanmikula.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.susanmikula.com/[/url])


Well based on going rates probably $3.5Million
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RacePhoto on November 12, 2011, 18:22
What do we think of this womans work. she sells out and also sells out her books.

[url]http://www.susanmikula.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.susanmikula.com/[/url])


I have some old faded Ansco 2 1/4 slides, with mold and fungus, I might be rich! They are sharper and have better colors... Maybe someone can explain a blurry, yellow and green portrait, out of focus, with no message that I can see except, it's what it is.

Let me just say, it's "Art" $$$ and when people find something they like $$$ and it has a name $$$, it sells $$$. There's no explaining why. Might be some wealthy Sheep / Lemming cloned mutations can explain it.  ::)

Yes, add me to the Jackson Pollack fans, from way back. My real artist friends call him Jack The Dripper. But I don't own one of his painting for millions, I just appreciate it.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: cobalt on November 12, 2011, 18:44
I live by the rhine, i walk past it every week. Why am I not rich?
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: click_click on November 12, 2011, 18:45
I live by the rhine, i walk past it every week. Why am I not rich?
Because you always forget to take your P&S with you when you leave the house.  ::)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: cobalt on November 12, 2011, 18:47
My iPhone should be enough...;-) Now all I need is a gallery and a pompous or mysterious name.

ETA: Actually there is something very interesting about the image: the rhine is a huge, huge river. But he managed to choose an angle where it looks comparable to the size of the bicycle path.

But 4.3. million??? Must be a tax thing.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: cathyslife on November 12, 2011, 18:50
My iPhone should be enough...;-) Now all I need is a gallery and a pompous or mysterious name.


LOL   :D
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: jbarber873 on November 12, 2011, 21:16
I saw the Gursky show at MOMA, and thought it was great. The presentation is key- very large prints of excellent quality. As with all modern art, a large element is the concept and the "shock of the new". However, I think I will spend my millions elsewhere, or even my 50 thousands. ( Sorry, Race! )

I have difficulty with the very idea of art, at least the modern conceptual kind. Seems that if you say you're an artist, and you do the right brown-nosing and self-promotion, you might strike it lucky and end up with work worth millions. Much of what gets lionised as art just comes off as silly in its desperate eagerness to be novel. Of course Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin come to mind.

Until fairly recently in human history there was no notion of art in the modern sense. It was just illustration and decoration, and a lot more decorative it was too.

   I understand your point of view. There's a book that Tom Wolfe wrote quite a while ago called "The Painted Word", which goes into great detail about the movers and shakers of the art world, and how critics began turning the art world toward the concept instead of the technique. For me, modern art has always been interesting. I never really had much exposure to it until I came to work in NY as an assistant, and used to go to the museums on the free night. To me, the work was new and exciting, clever and thought provoking. This was the late 70's, with the punk scene and crime and craziness all over. Modern art seemed so exact, precise. As they say, art is in the eye of the beholder, so I just happened to be at the right place for it. As for paying millions of dollars for a Gursky, this says more about the concentration of wealth among the uber rich more than it does about the art. As an investment, art has a much better track record than just about anything else, so maybe that's the thought behind it.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: RapidEye on November 13, 2011, 02:25
   I understand your point of view. There's a book that Tom Wolfe wrote quite a while ago called "The Painted Word", which goes into great detail about the movers and shakers of the art world, and how critics began turning the art world toward the concept instead of the technique. For me, modern art has always been interesting. I never really had much exposure to it until I came to work in NY as an assistant, and used to go to the museums on the free night. To me, the work was new and exciting, clever and thought provoking. This was the late 70's, with the punk scene and crime and craziness all over. Modern art seemed so exact, precise. As they say, art is in the eye of the beholder, so I just happened to be at the right place for it. As for paying millions of dollars for a Gursky, this says more about the concentration of wealth among the uber rich more than it does about the art. As an investment, art has a much better track record than just about anything else, so maybe that's the thought behind it.

And I understand your point of view. Perhaps I'd be less cynical if my first exposure to this kind of stuff had been in New York instead of a provincial African city, where presumably the cleverness quotient was lower, even if the time and the social backdrop were similar. Still, it seems to me that the ultimate expression of conceptual art might be a blank gallery wall with a tag describing what the work would have been, had the artist troubled to make it. I must give that Tom Wolfe a read.

I'm sure you're right about the stinking rich and art prices. There are plenty of people for whom $4.3 million is pocket change. Two such bidders at an auction could send a price stratospheric for no good reason.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 13, 2011, 04:01
I had the good fortune to be able to stand in a gallery and examine this painting at close quarters for as long as I liked.
(http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/ast/flowers-rijks/flowers-rijks.jpg)
www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/ast/flowers-rijks/flowers-rijks.jpg (http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/ast/flowers-rijks/flowers-rijks.jpg)
The quality was simply incomparable with anything I had seen before and I don't believe anybody could doubt that it is a remarkable masterpiece (interestingly, for school art classes, it is a composite created from studies of different flowers made at different times, not a real scene). How the art community can go from recognising work at that level to imagining that the Rhine photo has any merit is really beyond me. It's really a sign of the decadence of the art crowd. who are no longer capable of understanding what they are seeing.

I do wonder whether photography is capable of producing work at the level of the Old Masters, or if the medium itself is too limiting. Even if it is limited, the art market is obviously looking in the wrong direction when it applauds stuff like this. Surely, the main criterion for judging worth should be whether one would want to live with something. Scarcity and name recognition are secondary to how enjoyable a work actually is.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: lagereek on November 13, 2011, 08:36
I dont know what to say?  sure the geometry/composition, etc, is brillant but 4 million bucks?  astonishing.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Mantis on November 13, 2011, 09:51
What do we think of this womans work. she sells out and also sells out her books.

[url]http://www.susanmikula.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.susanmikula.com/[/url])


They look like frames from surveillance video.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: madelaide on November 13, 2011, 10:42
The price is absurd, as in any of these expensive works anyway. Even the best Picasso or Van Gogh works should never be worth so much, unless it was something very unique or historical (like "Guernica") and even then thevalue would be questionable.

Anyway, looking at the art aspect of the image, it is interesting. The parallel lines in different colors, I can imagine that hanging on a wall (though not my wall).

We can not make any parallel between art photography and stock photography in terms of value, IMHO. These are different markets.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Mr. Stock on November 15, 2011, 12:03
We all live in a Gursky world.

Ben Lewis - Gursky World (http://vimeo.com/17692722)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 15, 2011, 13:17
The price is absurd, as in any of these expensive works anyway. Even the best Picasso or Van Gogh works should never be worth so much, unless it was something very unique

Yeah, well, every Picasso is unique. Surely that's one of the points with painted art. But I presume the negative of this dreary Rhine scene still exists and a new, huge print can be stamped out tomorrow.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: OM on December 01, 2011, 12:22
http://artobserved.com/artimages/2011/11/Bert-Rodriguez-The-True-Artist-Makers-Useless-crap-for-Rich-People-to-Buy-2008.jpg (http://artobserved.com/artimages/2011/11/Bert-Rodriguez-The-True-Artist-Makers-Useless-crap-for-Rich-People-to-Buy-2008.jpg)
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: Sedge on December 01, 2011, 13:50
I got an "Error 404 - Not Found" when I clicked on your link.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: OM on December 01, 2011, 17:25
I got an "Error 404 - Not Found" when I clicked on your link.

Me too now. Sorry about that. Should be able to view in my Picasa folder:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/un2nB6Jr97OIxCjfCjGcEDU5Bl8b8KDaycplAH1lsfQ?feat=directlink
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: sharpshot on December 01, 2011, 17:46
This photo doesn't appeal to me at all but perhaps the print looks much more interesting?  I don't know how any "art" is valued.  Some art looks like it should be expensive but other stuff looks like it was done by a 3 year old.  A lot of paintings sold for huge amounts are worthless forgeries.  Some of the best forgeries are worth more than the originals.  Its a strange world but I also struggle to understand economics.
Title: Re: Photograph sells for $4.3 million
Post by: TheDman on December 01, 2011, 18:17
You would think if someone dropped $4.3 million on a photo, they would at least make sure the photographer spent more than 5 minutes slapping it together in Photoshop (http://www.ddphotos.com/gursky.jpg).