Top Five Most Expensive Photographs Ever Sold

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Registered: Dec 06, 2004
Total Posts: 1753
Country: United States

Gursky's Rhein II is simplistically brilliant. I always liked that photograph, just never knew how much someone would pay for it.

Cindy Sherman's photos are always self-modeled. All she shoots, or is at least known for, is her dress-up/down pictures depicting various types of people we might all associate or profile. She is the darling of the NY art set with kind of a mysterious personality to boot.

Registered: May 26, 2009
Total Posts: 618
Country: United States

The value ( the amount paid ) is not related to the quality or significance at all but rather a function of the marketing efforts of dealers, artist reps, and gallery owners. They are aided in their efforts by the owners of other examples of the artists work who gladly promote the "quality and value" of the artist.

Some of this stuff I like and some I don't but I no longer get jealous of the the artists because they have been killing themselves to get to where they are and I am too lazy.

Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 19267
Country: United States

The "I have thrown away winners" comment..........

Exactly the thing that came to my mind. I should have kept all those shots of my feet as I made sure the film was being taken up by the winder........... I never enter photo competitions, but I weakened and entered and image of a supersonic T38 jet, taken out of the open tail of a WWII B25. The post sunset light was magnificent as it wrapped the fuselage, the background was a gorgeous blank canvas of undisturbed water. We were whistling along at close to 300 mph 20 feet apart. One of my favorite images of all time. The client spent 20 grand for the shoot when it was all said and done. I entered it, all kinds of folks saw it, rated it 5/5, it was a popular/viewer favorite out of hundreds of submissions. It won "first loser", the distinguished panel of judges chose a shot of a women in a Yoga position, lit by one soft box hanging above her. Oh well,...................

Registered: Nov 18, 2008
Total Posts: 172
Country: United States

JohnJ wrote:
drofnad wrote:
...It would be fun and I think edifying to do some "taste testing" of the great & not-so-great art works without names attached, or with bogus names attached ...

I think you're missing the point that the value in the work has more to do with WHO actually did it, the scarcity of the work (ie original prints vs copies or later re-prints) etc. 'Who' did it is important because of what they actually brought to the art world that didn't exist before them.

Actually, no : I'm responding to all the hype that goes into explaining how glorious these art works are --no one says (outright) "This is great because it's <artist>'s work!" And this, um, smells-like-BS is what I think such a "taste test" as I said would reveal. In some cases, I think a big-name artist could spill the garbage on the way to the dumpster, an observer slap a labe on it ("Untitled" seems to work broadly), and ... a gallery will want it and critics would rhapsodize on the keen insight revealed ... ! Clearly, there, a "who..." but is nevertheless has the smell etc. of garbage.

For those curious about Sherman, I just found a read by economist Galenson:

[author of}
Conceptual Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Art


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