July 29, 2014, 01:00:14 AM

Author Topic: $4 Million Photograph  (Read 11527 times)

Chuck Alaimo

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2014, 09:34:23 PM »
I think there is the whole, art is in the eye of the beholder argument - but - there is also the good old, name = prestige.   Chances are all of us here Could take that shot, but, would any of us even think of consider showing it that large?  image:  --- that's pretty huge! 73 x 143 in ---6 feet by close to 12 feet...huge.  Gursky can and did do that because he has both skill and the name and of course the lab and his own giant printer too. 

It's sad because I see so many artists making such amazing things...selling them for $100 a pop, then see this---yeah gursky's is huge but...it's 4 million not because of the content ---

Face the facts - it's 4 million because it's a gursky.  Same shot printed to same size by unknown fill in the blank artist - well, your talking a few grand at most because - unkonw fill in the blank artist isn't known, has no acclaim.  Where did this thing sell, christies, and yeah, they cater to the rich, the rich want bragging rights, they want that piece on the wall that will be the talk of the next cocktail party (mind you, the cost of the cocktail party for this rich guy alone is probably more than the unkown artist would would get for his print) ---ohhh it's a such and such...

Sorry if that ruffles feathers, but it's true...

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2014, 09:34:23 PM »

emag

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2014, 09:47:01 PM »
I freely admit I just usually don't appreciate 'fine art'.  Particularly anything that's supposed to be 'edgy' and 'provocative'.

Ansel Adams - I like
The Pond - I like it
Dead troops talk - like it also

Cindy Sherman - I'm sure she's well regarded by many.  Doesn't do a thing for me.  Any time I see "Self portrait of the artist" I'm pretty sure it's crap, I'd rather see a well-done "Dogs playing poker" or Velvet Elvis.  That includes Van Gogh.  Sole exception (for me) M. C. Escher with the reflecting ball.   Just my $.02, and worth as much.

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2014, 12:25:19 AM »

Then I realized (yet again) that I am a photographer, NOT an artist.  I shoot for the love of photography, and consider 90% or more of the "art" photography I've seen to be cliched crap.  B&W, torn edges, crap out of focus, cheesy InstaPhotoShop filters - yep, that's "art" in today's world.  Quality photos of unique subjects in beautiful light - nobody wants that.

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LoL well put,  I am of the exact same opinion :D
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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2014, 02:17:17 AM »
all this reminds me of that story...
about that millionaire guy, with his best-seller book "how to become a millionaire" - guess how he did it!

spoiler hint: selling a book
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eml58

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2014, 02:25:38 AM »
.
Well, there are different ways of getting to $4 mil.

My plan is to sell 4 million pictures for a dollar each.

I think that's an exemplary attitude, and each Image you sell for a dollar is likely to be better than the one we are discussing.
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eyeland

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2014, 04:38:02 AM »
Granted, at 4 mill it seems overpriced, but then again, so are Iphones and so many other polished turds.. At least no slave labor was utilized (unless it was clone-stamped at foxcon ;) )
This seems to be a trend that has propagated throughout the market driven society and there is hardly anything new about that.. I honestly find it more baffling that people are complaining about a specific "work of art" instead of questioning the capitalistic foundation upon which these phenomena rely...

As for specific works of art (or other things sold at "unfair" prices), the object/idea/piece can seem banal and obvious, especially in retrospect.
As a kid, when presented with an "obvious" invention (eg. the wheel, screw-on lids, the cork screw in lack of better examples) or an abstract work of art - all being of the nature that seemingly required no virtuoso/artisan skill-set, I would usually state: "I could have easily done that", to which my mother would reply: "I am sure that you could have done it, but s/he actually did it"
Sometimes creative brilliance is just this: To somehow create something that, in spite of being obvious and banal, invokes some sense of novelty by the fact that no-one actually thought to do it in this or that way before.
Personally, I think that this is a very interesting and relevant aspect of creative craftsmanship, one that I face everytime I pick up my camera. With the danger of going off topic, I find that these matters touch upon the very temporal nature of the relation between our reflective self-understanding and our somewhat immediate forward momentum. To paraphrase Kierkegaard, "Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards."
This got to be a lenghty reply, perhaps I should just have said something along the lines of "hindsight is 20/20"...

« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 05:34:00 AM by eyeland »
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Hillsilly

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2014, 05:27:41 AM »
Because Gursky has taken a deliberate approach to become a collectable photographer.  You have to realise that it has only been in the last 10 years that his photos have sold for significant sums (with massive increases over the last five years).  Prior to that, he was just like many others, trying desperately to get their work exhibited.  But once you have serious galleries highlighting and buying your work on a regular basis, people pay attention.

He has also been smart with limiting the number of prints made.  According to Wikipedia he generally only sells six copies.

And his photos are good.  At least I like them.

I don't know how serious art collectors think, but Rhein II is unlike most of his other work.  Generally, his photos are very busy, with a lot of people, objects, windows, items, activity etc.  The contrast between his better known photos and Rhein II gives it a special significance.  I suspect that this is what makes it a more valuable photo.

Why don't your photos sell for $4m?  The short answer is that they probably could.  You just need to spend the next twenty years dedicating yourself to building up your name and reputation in a very smart, business-like way.
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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2014, 05:27:41 AM »

CarlTN

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2014, 05:35:32 AM »
I think there is the whole, art is in the eye of the beholder argument - but - there is also the good old, name = prestige.   Chances are all of us here Could take that shot, but, would any of us even think of consider showing it that large?  image:  --- that's pretty huge! 73 x 143 in ---6 feet by close to 12 feet...huge.  Gursky can and did do that because he has both skill and the name and of course the lab and his own giant printer too. 

It's sad because I see so many artists making such amazing things...selling them for $100 a pop, then see this---yeah gursky's is huge but...it's 4 million not because of the content ---

Face the facts - it's 4 million because it's a gursky.  Same shot printed to same size by unknown fill in the blank artist - well, your talking a few grand at most because - unkonw fill in the blank artist isn't known, has no acclaim.  Where did this thing sell, christies, and yeah, they cater to the rich, the rich want bragging rights, they want that piece on the wall that will be the talk of the next cocktail party (mind you, the cost of the cocktail party for this rich guy alone is probably more than the unkown artist would would get for his print) ---ohhh it's a such and such...

Sorry if that ruffles feathers, but it's true...

So in your opinion, spending $4 million to buy this piece, is a wise investment?  Somehow, decades from now, it will be worth several times that much (even adjusted for inflation)?  In other words, what you're saying, is that Gursky as an artist, is at the same level or above, as Ansel Adams, or Picasso.  I submit that he is not, and thus it's a bad investment.

koolman

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2014, 07:37:35 AM »
What makes this photograph worth $4,338,500 (other than the obvious fact someone was prepared to pay that amount for it)?





Alas this is the world we live in. Its all about the packaging and the posture. The essence is long gone.

What attracts people to this photo has nothing to do with photography. It has to do with other peripherals.




 
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pedroesteban

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2014, 08:39:37 AM »
I think that most people here are missing the fact that this is a piece of digital art: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhein_II

It is quite different to evaluate the significance of this as an important work of art and to evaluate the significance this as a technically challenging photograph / photoshop job.


Policar

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2014, 09:46:29 AM »
I would recognize that it's an excellent photograph, but nothing more.


Ok, let's forego your comments on how he is an 'unmistakeable genius', I wouldn't get it if you knocked me on my head with that genius!
(Mind you, the term is technically wrong, since so many of us right here have cheerfully made the 'mistake' of not understanding that 'genius')
Let me ask a simpler question:
Why is this an excellent photograph?- please explain it as you see it. Please avoid esoteric terms like cold, banal, etc. or terms like composition and texture without explaining why that is good. I am not asking about the 'concept' in it. Just why this is an excellent photograph.
Thanks.


It's also possible everyone here has no taste. Most casual non-photographers could identify what's right with Gursky's work (as a whole, not just this one odd photograph of his) seeing it in a gallery or at least simply understand what he's up to, but we're too obsessed with MTF and clone tools. :)

I could ask you to describe why Beethoven's 9th is great without using words like "melodious" "beautiful" or discussing texture and composition... Give it a go. You can instantly recognize that it's great, so describe it (don't do any research first, either!) and convince me. Let's say I prefer Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus because it has more emotion and lyrics. Convince me otherwise.

See why you put me in a tough spot? But I'll try:

Again, this isn't my favorite photograph of his, but why it's good or at least interesting is fairly simple to articulate. Gursky's work is all very cold and formal... He rarely has one identifiable person in his frame, and when he does have one that person is at a distance. His photographs are all about textures found in large, manmade spaces, and he often photographs with long lenses from a distance with a near-orthographic/planometric feel or from heights not normally accessible to people (helicopters, etc.) and then composes extremely cleanly and prints huge. The universe feels very disorganized at normal viewing perspectives and most photos here are chaotic or sloppy. His photographs have ultra-simple compositions (sometimes as simple as one texture) and within those compositions blocks of texture and gradation that are only really appreciable at wall-sized prints... reminds me of Pollock a bit, order in chaos. Also reminds me of one of my friends, a brilliant landscape photographer (who is much more fun, and shoots Canon!): http://www.alexmaclean.com

Seeing the everyday world appear so flat and composed and organized and distant is unnerving... usually it only appears that way very small (molecular structure, crystal structure) or large (solar systems, etc.) and seeing that geometry and distance applied to banal man-made objects gives this god's-eye-view perspective that's cold and unnerving and overwhelming and (particularly when these prints are big) makes the subject feel small and humanity small and irrelevant somehow. His photos are about organizing the modern world from a distanced, symmetrical, omniscient perspective that is not sympathetic to its subjects, who are rendered irrelevant relative to the texture they fall into... really god's eye view stuff. And you see it and are overwhelmed by the symmetry and coldness of his take on humanity and the modern day, particularly when you see a big print... it's overwhelming. Almost cosmic, being faced with something so big and cold and composed that makes you feel so small in comparison. See it printed large!

This photo is so extreme in its style... the subject matter so banal, but the composition so perfect (the bars are balanced exquisitely for color, texture, shade, etc. and weighted perfectly; if you deny this you have a horrible eye for composition). Say what you will but this is a ridiculously good composition, so good it's almost, well... boring. It's an everyday view of a familiar subject seen with godlike distance and symmetry. That's it. Pretty simple stuff and to me not as interesting as his other work. Almost a parody of Gursky it's so extreme, probably why it sold for so much.

The guy comes across as a cold bastard. He listens to techno, probably watches David Fincher. If that coldness and order appeals to you, then his work is amazing. Printed large, it makes you feel insignificant as though faced with an overwhelmingly huge god's-eye-view. A little bit preachy, a little bit pretentious, but expertly composed and (as seen printed full-sized on a wall) even viscerally breathtaking. Gursky's work reminds me of Zodiac or Aphex Twin (circa Drukqs) or something. Cold, clinical, formal, but lacking in humanity.

https://www.google.com/search?q=gursky&client=safari&rls=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=aqoMU5OBJbOQyQGIsICoAg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ

I prefer photography with a human element to it, but Gursky does something no one else is doing or even successfully emulating. Guy's great.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 10:25:25 AM by Policar »

Policar

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2014, 09:57:13 AM »
Just look at this:

http://www.artnet.com/artwork/426102827/424045384/andreas-gursky-love-parade.html

Who could have a colder eye toward a subject? It's all texture and composition and coldness and distance.

Who could make a colder photo called Love Parade? It's beautiful, too, but there's nothing human about it to the extent that the subject is almost ironic, or maybe it's about a beauty that transcends the human and concerns humanity more broadly.

Policar

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2014, 09:59:51 AM »

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2014, 09:59:51 AM »

notapro

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2014, 10:02:20 AM »
Pedroesteban mentions a cardinal point in this thread.  It is helpful to note that photography and art are not synonymous any more than painting and art are synonymous.  Painting and photography are among the media from which artists may choose to create their work, and painters and photographers as painters and photographers are not the same necessarily as artists whose media are painting and photography.

I think distant.star (if I have the name correct) posted a relevant point early in this thread about having a an M.F.A. and a camera as opposed to having a camera without the degree.  In the former instance, one could self-identify as an artist.  In the latter, self-identification would be "just" as a photographer.

I would love to expand more, though some of what I might write would derive from and be rooted in what I wrote here in a thread a while back:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=15734.msg288202#msg288202

I will add that, whether "just a photographer" (i.e., a self-identified non-artist) finds merit-technical or otherwise--in a photograph, whether "just a photographer" finds value in a photograph, or whether the same person derives pleasure from a photograph are not, per se, necessary, essential, or sufficient to the matter of status, classification, or appreciation (for example) of a photograph as an artwork.

My post here is severely limited (I need to get out of here and go to work!), but in conjuntion with the matter presented in the cited thread, it may be understandable why photographs as artworks may evoke incredulous reactions from members of the general public or society at large.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 11:33:12 PM by notapro »

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2014, 10:30:59 AM »


I could ask you to describe why Beethoven's 9th is great without using words like "melodious" "beautiful" or discussing texture and composition... Give it a go. You can instantly recognize that it's great, so describe it (don't do any research first, either!) and convince me. Let's say I prefer Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus because it has more emotion and lyrics. Convince me otherwise.

Well, I'm not religious, but I certainly recognize the emotions in the lyrical sections of Beethoven's 9th...
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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2014, 10:30:59 AM »