August 27, 2014, 09:11:18 AM

Author Topic: $4 Million Photograph  (Read 11862 times)

Policar

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #60 on: February 25, 2014, 10:33:22 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...

Well, there's a convincing argument.  ???

3kramd5

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #61 on: February 25, 2014, 10:59:09 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...

Well, there's a convincing argument.  ???

It wasn't meant to be.

I'm just pointing out (in perhaps an obnoxious way) that Beethoven's 9th does in fact have emotionally-charged lyrics (not primarily penned by Beethoven, but the same may the the case for Miley), so it may not be the best sample for your argument.
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Policar

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #62 on: February 25, 2014, 11:12:06 AM »
Fair enough.

I guess I'm just saying... it's easy to appreciate something that's very good (when presented with it in a proper context; this photo is pretty inferior in thumbnail and not in a gallery printed huge) but it's difficult to articulate convincingly why it's good. "Emotion and lyrics" is my example of a bad description that could very well be honest...

Hillsilly

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #63 on: February 25, 2014, 11:19:05 AM »
Many of his contemporaries and most of the critics disliked Beethoven and his work.  Yet time has an interesting way of identifying quality and greatness.  Perhaps our great-great-great-great-grandchildren will look upon Miley Cyrus in the same way?  But personally, I think that her reputation will pale in comparison to her dad's.  I'm certain "Acky Breaky Heart" will be considered the peak of late 20th century music.
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3kramd5

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2014, 11:26:32 AM »
Most people who aren't familiar with the artist don't get the concept. I don't see it and come away with the same feelings of a bleak, sterile god perspective of the world that you do. It may be telling that the photo doesn't speak for itself (I.e. context partially drives your reaction). Or not. I dunno, and it doesn't really matter.

It really does come down to taste. To me, a good photograph need to be interesting to look at. Interest can come from the subject itself or it can come from how a subject is portrayed (composed). The subject is uninteresting, and the composition doesn't add anything to me. Perhaps that is because I don't know what it really looks like and thus can't recognize anything particularly unique about how the scene is portrayed.

Shrug. If someone wants to pay 4million for it, have at it; it's no skin off my back.
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Policar

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #65 on: February 25, 2014, 11:45:04 AM »
Most people who aren't familiar with the artist don't get the concept. I don't see it and come away with the same feelings of a bleak, sterile god perspective of the world that you do. It may be telling that the photo doesn't speak for itself (I.e. context partially drives your reaction). Or not. I dunno, and it doesn't really matter.

It really does come down to taste. To me, a good photograph need to be interesting to look at. Interest can come from the subject itself or it can come from how a subject is portrayed (composed). The subject is uninteresting, and the composition doesn't add anything to me. Perhaps that is because I don't know what it really looks like and thus can't recognize anything particularly unique about how the scene is portrayed.

Shrug. If someone wants to pay 4million for it, have at it; it's no skin off my back.

I think it's one of his less interesting photographs, too, but it's paradoxically interesting among his photographs for being the most extreme in terms of coldness and the banality of the subject. I don't think you need a lot of backstory to "get it" though. It's the Rhine on a cloudy day presented as flatly as possible. Stand up next to a full-size print and you'll feel like you're seeing a familiar, boring sight, only rendered completely symmetrical and cold (and actually very beautiful in an odd way). So the subject isn't that interesting, but to me the composition (which is exquisite, imo) is, almost because it's so composed and flat. And seeing something very "everyday" but altered in terms of presentation is striking and uncanny. There's something to this photo, but the thumbnails do it no justice!

That said, these are much more interesting to me:

http://artblart.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/gursky_2-web.jpg

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~squires/gursky/pics/gursky_chicago.jpg

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~squires/gursky/pics/gursky_99cent.jpg

http://agonistica.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/gursky1.jpg

And, again, none are that interesting except when printed HUGE.

I would have chosen a different print, too! But the guy is the real deal and I still think this is a great photograph, just not like... the best. I do have an immediate emotional/intellectual reaction to it, though. It's not of overwhelming beauty, but I think it communicates what it needs to communicate well, and I do think it's very beautiful in a way... certainly more beautiful than anything I've seen on here, on flickr, etc.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 11:50:52 AM by Policar »

robinlamkie

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #66 on: February 25, 2014, 11:54:03 AM »
I first became aware of Gursky seeing his 99cent photo. 

It added depth when I read that he studied with Bernd & Hilla Becher whose photos have influenced my photography and art appreciation.

http://pitchdesignunion.com/2009/10/bernd-hilla-becher/

distant.star

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #67 on: February 25, 2014, 12:03:07 PM »
.
I know I can't speak for everyone, but I'd hope most folks here would join me in thanking Policar. I appreciate the great insights into photography as art.

Having spent time in galleries looking at photographs that have been blessed as "art," I know I don't know enough to get it. I've never studied art so the deficiency is clearly mine. But I do appreciate when someone knowledgeable takes the time to explain what forms a foundation of art in a photograph.

I also know enough about the history of photography to know it was never taken seriously until it was finally embraced by the art community.

While I'm just a photographer I really am trying to create my own concept of art in this world.

Thanks, Policar!
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Don Haines

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #68 on: February 25, 2014, 12:22:29 PM »

I think it's one of his less interesting photographs, too, but it's paradoxically interesting among his photographs for being the most extreme in terms of coldness and the banality of the subject. I don't think you need a lot of backstory to "get it" though. It's the Rhine on a cloudy day presented as flatly as possible. Stand up next to a full-size print and you'll feel like you're seeing a familiar, boring sight, only rendered completely symmetrical and cold (and actually very beautiful in an odd way). So the subject isn't that interesting, but to me the composition (which is exquisite, imo) is, almost because it's so composed and flat. And seeing something very "everyday" but altered in terms of presentation is striking and uncanny. There's something to this photo, but the thumbnails do it no justice!
+1

I like it... not $5,000,000 worth, but I do like it....
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Chuck Alaimo

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #69 on: February 25, 2014, 12:50:15 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...

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.

that part is also eye of the beholder - at that level, what is seen as "value" is not what we see.  If you were andy warhol, a stained napkin doodle is worth 30K. 

gursky is lucky, he's alive and selling this for 4 mil.  Many artists have to wait till their dead to sell at at level
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Policar

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #70 on: February 25, 2014, 01:11:22 PM »
.
While I'm just a photographer I really am trying to create my own concept of art in this world.

So is Gursky...

CarlTN

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #71 on: February 25, 2014, 08:20:26 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...

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.

that part is also eye of the beholder - at that level, what is seen as "value" is not what we see.  If you were andy warhol, a stained napkin doodle is worth 30K. 

gursky is lucky, he's alive and selling this for 4 mil.  Many artists have to wait till their dead to sell at at level

Good to see we can agree on something again haha...(I don't like to type "lol" because well, it's very 2000's and not "twenty-teens"...:P)

3kramd5

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #72 on: February 25, 2014, 09:01:40 PM »
.
I know I can't speak for everyone, but I'd hope most folks here would join me in thanking Policar. I appreciate the great insights into photography as art.

Yep. For my dollar (tongue in cheek), this discussion is more interesting than the picture being discussed ;)

Rather than the music analogy, I'll liken it (the print) to another printed medium.

It's hard to freehand a square. You may make something look fairly square, but getting perpendicular corners with straight equal length sides is impossible. A good draftsman likely employs technique that will allow him to get closer to square than I. And size matters. You'll get a better square that's 1mm on the side than one that's 100mm. 1 meter on the side? Forget about it. So, while an expert freehanding a 1m square may have great execution, at the end of the day, he produces a square on a piece of paper. Well done, but patently uninteresting.

Gursky clearly had a concept, and he executed it well (with perhaps the exception of sloppy duplication). However, it's very boring to look at.



And, again, none are that interesting except when printed HUGE.

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~squires/gursky/pics/gursky_chicago.jpg

That one is.
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CarlTN

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #73 on: February 25, 2014, 09:08:56 PM »

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~squires/gursky/pics/gursky_chicago.jpg

That one is.

Eye of the beholder, that one looks mundane to me also.  I think this thread should end soon, it's only feeding Gursky's already inflated ego and wallet.

cayenne

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Re: $4 Million Photograph
« Reply #74 on: February 26, 2014, 04:11:31 PM »


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...

Well, there's a convincing argument.  ???

It wasn't meant to be.

I'm just pointing out (in perhaps an obnoxious way) that Beethoven's 9th does in fact have emotionally-charged lyrics (not primarily penned by Beethoven, but the same may the the case for Miley), so it may not be the best sample for your argument.

Somehow I seriously doubt that Miley's output will be revered next month, much less in a few decades or 100's of years.  I give the Beatles and Stone's output much more of a chance...hell, those have passed the 50yr mark and still get airplay and fairly high sales.