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Author Topic: Photograph sells for $4.3 million  (Read 22429 times)

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« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2011, 10:56 »
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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.


rubyroo

« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2011, 11:02 »
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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.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 11:05 by rubyroo »

« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2011, 11:26 »
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« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2011, 13:58 »
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Money laundry...

RacePhoto

« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2011, 14:16 »
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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

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.  ::) 


jbarber873

« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2011, 14:48 »
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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! )

RacePhoto

« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2011, 15:25 »
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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?

« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2011, 15:36 »
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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.

« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2011, 15:47 »
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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.

rubyroo

« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2011, 17:34 »
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   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.

OM

« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2011, 17:43 »
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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

« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2011, 17:46 »
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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

lisafx

« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2011, 17:57 »
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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.   ::)

« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2011, 18:14 »
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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

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2011, 19:25 »
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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.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 19:27 by SNP »

« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2011, 22:34 »
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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.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2011, 02:34 »
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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

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

« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2011, 03:03 »
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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. 

« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2011, 03:12 »
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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.

« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2011, 03:21 »
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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.

« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2011, 09:35 »
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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.

« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2011, 09:47 »
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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.

rubyroo

« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2011, 10:55 »
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Very well put, RapidEye.

helix7

« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2011, 12:06 »
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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? :)

« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2011, 13:34 »
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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.


 

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