$4 Million Photograph

Dec 3, 2012
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Not very relevant subject here. Did he use a Canon? Did the photographer set the price? Would you hire a good photographer who is a bad art critic?
No, No, Obviously
 

Vivid Color

EOS 7D MK II
Dec 7, 2012
436
0
As an economist, I'd like to point out that there is the market price for something and then there is its non-market value. The terms price and value are often used interchangeably and for the most part, that's ok, but it can lead to confusion if people start equating price with value or worth.

I'd also like to note that no one person/entity sets a price. They can offer something for sale at a price, and someone can accept at that price, but the price is "set" by the two parties agreeing to the price and, moreover, the cost of production and skill that went into the object being sold may have nothing to do with the price.
 

photonius

EOS RP
Jul 13, 2013
229
13
mackguyver said:
starflux said:
j0hannes said:
I hope the picture you posted is not the original Gursky, because a huge portion of the lower right corner is very obviously clone-stamped.
Oh it is def. a bad photoshop job... see it in the original image... check out the large version at this link and you can easily see the same grass pattern repeated in lower right corner...

http://c4gallery.com/artist/database/andreas-gursky/andreas-gursky-the-rhein-II.jpg
...and yet he left some orange piece of garbage near the water and a set of stairs(?) on the opposite bank in the photo.
that's the art part.... :)
 

troy19

Life w/o photography ? Possible, but pointless !
Dec 19, 2011
69
0
ajfotofilmagem said:
Some years ago I (do not know why) I took a course named: Research-creative-in-art-technology. The teacher was graduated in fine arts, and had good skills in painting, drawing and art history, but knew nothing of photography or video (art technology?).

She is a fan of Duchamp, which I hate, and in a lesson I said that in my opinion: "Conceptual art is the refuge of the incompetent". She did not like what I said, but survived.

I learned about art history and joked acrylic painting and drawing. At the end of the course, I was photographing the work of colleagues in the exhibition, and the teacher asked my camera (Canon SLR + color negative film + Sigma 24-70mm). Then she asked me: "Where is the zoom?" I looked at her amazed and showed the rubber ring on the lens.

Some years later, my art teacher was arrested for murdering his sister stabbed in the back. I was playing with fire and did not know. Today I say: "Conceptual art is the refuge of the incompetent and crazy". :eek:
Now that's a good story. You're a lucky man surviving. Guess her sister repeated what you said about conceptual art and that was too much for her ...
 
Aug 23, 2013
2,362
53
Bahia Brazil
troy19 said:
ajfotofilmagem said:
Some years ago I (do not know why) I took a course named: Research-creative-in-art-technology. The teacher was graduated in fine arts, and had good skills in painting, drawing and art history, but knew nothing of photography or video (art technology?).
She is a fan of Duchamp, which I hate, and in a lesson I said that in my opinion: "Conceptual art is the refuge of the incompetent". She did not like what I said, but survived.
I learned about art history and joked acrylic painting and drawing. At the end of the course, I was photographing the work of colleagues in the exhibition, and the teacher asked my camera (Canon SLR + color negative film + Sigma 24-70mm). Then she asked me: "Where is the zoom?" I looked at her amazed and showed the rubber ring on the lens.
Some years later, my art teacher was arrested for murdering his sister stabbed in the back. I was playing with fire and did not know. Today I say: "Conceptual art is the refuge of the incompetent and crazy". :eek:
Now that's a good story. You're a lucky man surviving. Guess her sister repeated what you said about conceptual art and that was too much for her ...
In fact, my art teacher never seemed violent, but she felt the need to "deconstruct" the aesthetic rules, and she considered that works technically well made​​, lose their artistic value. She hated photographs with correct focus, following the rule of thirds, proper exposure, and whatever all photographers consider desirable in a photograph. When I showed my photos with multiple exposure (done in-camera) she advised me to do a little something in Photoshop to make it obvious that I'm not Orthodox. :-X

As for the murder, she killed her sister, and was waiting for the police to arrive, sitting with knife in hand, to say that she would kill all the rest of the family because everyone chase her. Only things of "artist."
 

9VIII

EOR R
Feb 8, 2013
1,843
0
ajfotofilmagem said:
Some years ago I (do not know why) I took a course named: Research-creative-in-art-technology. The teacher was graduated in fine arts, and had good skills in painting, drawing and art history, but knew nothing of photography or video (art technology?).

She is a fan of Duchamp, which I hate, and in a lesson I said that in my opinion: "Conceptual art is the refuge of the incompetent". She did not like what I said, but survived.

I learned about art history and joked acrylic painting and drawing. At the end of the course, I was photographing the work of colleagues in the exhibition, and the teacher asked my camera (Canon SLR + color negative film + Sigma 24-70mm). Then she asked me: "Where is the zoom?" I looked at her amazed and showed the rubber ring on the lens.

Some years later, my art teacher was arrested for murdering his sister stabbed in the back. I was playing with fire and did not know. Today I say: "Conceptual art is the refuge of the incompetent and crazy". :eek:
I really appreciate the story, though I'm sorry to hear that things ended so poorly.

All I can add is that it takes a special kind of person to appreciate some things. I'm quite content to look at "fine art" (or "high art", expensive stuff in general) and see very little or nothing of value.
As is so common in life social status drives many people to do things that when viewed alone would never even remotely be considered reasonable, you can see that in everything from tennis shoes to the Gursky picture.
 
Caveat: Art is in the eye of the beholder, it's all subjective.

However, this particular beholder doesn't get this one being worth $4mil.

If I had taken it, I'd be proud of it for sure. Good balance, very nice composition. The clouds even cooperated by being parallel for him. Technically competent. I'd even post it to CR as one of my fave landscapes.

However, I could go to the same place and take a picture 98% as good on any given cloudy day. I don't have an 8x10 camera, so I couldn't print it as nicely large, but is that what comprises art?

It's not about gear IMO. It's about technique, patience, scouting and oftentimes, luck. I think alot of "art appreciation" is taking something from a famous artist and justifying it. That's why so much famous art really is stuff that could be seemingly reproduced by almost anyone. Most people not trying to justify a piece's fame are taking it at face value. It's pretty easy to spot a critic desperately trying to back into a complement for schlock a famous artist is throwing out there b/c his boat needs to be refinished or his wife wants a new kitchen.

I think that any picture expensive should be a once in a lifetime event, beautifully captured by a photographer that knew exactly how to capture it. Those usually get Pulitzers, though, not $4mil :) If I had the money, I'd pay for the one and only print of Vietnam/napalm girl, or Lee Harvey Oswald being shot. That photo of the Hindenburg.
 

MARKOE PHOTOE

Photography is a love affair with life.
AcutancePhotography said:
I guess if the purchaser is happy paying 4 mil for this, so be it. To each his own.
Yea, looks like my bid of $12 was out bid. How disappointing. Not to say its not worth a few $ more but I don't have enough room for it anyway.

Surprising so, I would imagine most of us have had art projects look like good...er bad, before we discarded them. Now, I'm feverishly looking back through my archives to see if HE copied ME ! ;D
 

anthonyd

EOS 80D
Mar 4, 2013
161
0
45
Knoxville, TN
Policar said:
... ironic since few of your can shoot 8x10 ...
Hell, I didn't even know what "8x10" was before your post, but I still don't see how that helped him. This photograph is still awful (in my opinion of course).
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,265
1,923
Canada
anthonyd said:
Policar said:
... ironic since few of your can shoot 8x10 ...
Hell, I didn't even know what "8x10" was before your post, but I still don't see how that helped him. This photograph is still awful (in my opinion of course).
I could break out the 4X5, some scissors, and some glue and "cut and paste"......
 

anthonyd

EOS 80D
Mar 4, 2013
161
0
45
Knoxville, TN
dawgfanjeff said:
Caveat: Art is in the eye of the beholder, it's all subjective.
...
Actually, I have a personal anecdotal story on this.
When I was in high school I attended drawing classes at a private evening school. In my opinion I suck at drawing and everything I drew was awful. However, my parents kept everything, for some reason.
Years later, my sister married an architect who draws (and designs) amazing things. One day he went through my "paintings" and decided that he liked one of them so much, he put it on his living room wall. At first I thought he's messing with me, but after years and years of the painting remaining on his wall I have come to terms with the fact that we have very different ways of viewing the world.
 
anthonyd said:
dawgfanjeff said:
Caveat: Art is in the eye of the beholder, it's all subjective.
...
Actually, I have a personal anecdotal story on this.
When I was in high school I attended drawing classes at a private evening school. In my opinion I suck at drawing and everything I drew was awful. However, my parents kept everything, for some reason.
Years later, my sister married an architect who draws (and designs) amazing things. One day he went through my "paintings" and decided that he liked one of them so much, he put it on his living room wall. At first I thought he's messing with me, but after years and years of the painting remaining on his wall I have come to terms with the fact that we have very different ways of viewing the world.
Your brother in law probably thinks his "amazing" things are totally banal, derivative junk!

I think we have all had that experience of a wife or friend go through our pictures and pick out a bunch of favorites that we could have easily deleted. I even tell them why it's no good. Comp is junk, it would take forever to clone out that stop sign...They find something in it I didn't, even though I took it. I have gone mining through old photos and even disagreed with my own previous choices a few times:)
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,265
1,923
Canada
dawgfanjeff said:
However, I could go to the same place and take a picture 98% as good on any given cloudy day. I don't have an 8x10 camera, so I couldn't print it as nicely large, but is that what comprises art?
You don't need a massive camera.... You can take multiple pictures and stitch them together....image sizes have gone over 100 gigapixels....

The largest one I have done (so far) was 110,000 by 40,000 pixels.... 12 rows of photos and 36 per row....if you printed it at 300dpi you would have a 30 foot by 11 foot print...
 

Policar

EOS 7D MK II
Dec 20, 2010
523
3
It might help putting it in the context of his other stuff:

http://c4gallery.com/artist/database/andreas-gursky/gursky-paris-montparnasse-large-print.jpg

http://publicdelivery.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Andreas-Gursky-Kamiokande-2007.jpg

The simplicity of the composition is the entire point, almost like a Mondrian but with textures as well as colors. (Not a big Mondrian fan, but I am a Pollock fan!)

As I said, I'm not a huge fan of Gursky because his work is kind of distant and stately (and this particular print just looks like any other expertly composed landscape to some extent; the subject is fairly banal), but I do think he's an unmistakable genius at what he does and that if you're not seeing it, the problem isn't with him.

Also, this is a HUGE print. Most good 8x10 photography is really simple, cold, and formal, because the textures become overwhelming at large sizes. What looks good on 500px is, as regards composition, completely different from what looks good printed 80X100 inches. The popular stuff on 500px is generally garbage.

I recently saw some work from this photographer ( http://www.lauramcphee.com/ronr.php ) printed wall-sized and was blown away. The thumbnails look like nothing special (still very good, as is the print in question here). What looks good in one format does not always translate to another. Guernica does little for me in thumbnail, but is overwhelming full-sized. I'm sure printed full-size this photo is incredible.

Also, if you can take a photo 98% this good on any given day, move into fine art, because you are among the very top of the very elite. And if you think 8x10 is just about resolution, keep on stitching. :)
 

thepancakeman

If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving
Aug 18, 2011
476
0
Minnesota
Policar said:
I do think he's an unmistakable genius at what he does and that if you're not seeing it, the problem isn't with him.
So if some no name took this picture, you would recognize the "unmistakable genius" in it? I don't believe that in the least.

Just recently there was some "famous" artist (sorry, don't remember the name) who's paintings sell for big bucks set up shop in central park and was selling his stuff for $50, and as I recall, only sold a single piece. Without some art curator telling them it was so amazing and worth a fortune, no one cared.
 

Policar

EOS 7D MK II
Dec 20, 2010
523
3
thepancakeman said:
Policar said:
I do think he's an unmistakable genius at what he does and that if you're not seeing it, the problem isn't with him.
So if some no name took this picture, you would recognize the "unmistakable genius" in it? I don't believe that in the least.
I would recognize that it's an excellent photograph, but nothing more. Again, it's not my favorite photo of his by any means, but I do think it's better than any photograph I've seen posted here, for instance.

If I saw his body of work I'd recognize it as unmistakably brilliant, as I think most anyone would. And "genius" I use loosely; I'd call Spielberg and Fincher and Scorsese and the best DPs (Deakins, Richardson), etc. visual geniuses even though they've produced a ton of garbage. I'm generous with the label, but I do think it's easy to recognize a singular vision and articulate articulation of it and it's better to praise than tear down great work within a medium, even if the genre isn't your favorite. I do think the subject here is pretty banal and the execution (as regards composition) so perfect that it's almost boring. Not my favorite photo of his.

There are artists that are highly successful that I just don't get. Again, Mondrian I don't really get.
 
Aug 23, 2013
2,362
53
Bahia Brazil
thepancakeman said:
Policar said:
I do think he's an unmistakable genius at what he does and that if you're not seeing it, the problem isn't with him.
So if some no name took this picture, you would recognize the "unmistakable genius" in it? I don't believe that in the least.
Just recently there was some "famous" artist (sorry, don't remember the name) who's paintings sell for big bucks set up shop in central park and was selling his stuff for $50, and as I recall, only sold a single piece. Without some art curator telling them it was so amazing and worth a fortune, no one cared.
When I hear the phrase "unmistakable genius" I think of Beethoven, Mozart, or Jimi Hendrix, they cause chills in those who hear their works. In visual arts, I think of Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci, who let their spectators speechless. In photography, a technically perfect performance is not enough to be "unmistakable genius." It is essential that a subject interest and hold the attention of the viewer. Thus, some of the most important photographs of humanity are NOT technically clean, but your content is impressive and makes you think. I'll add a little known photographer that I consider great.
Valério Vieira, did the work "Os Trinta Valérios" in 1901. In this assembly, the very Valerius appears thirty times in his brilliant work.

"Os Trinta Valérios" by Valério Vieira 1901
 

eml58

1Dx
Aug 26, 2012
1,939
0
Singapore
It's an interesting discussion, and it's most interesting to see how varied opinions are regards this subject of "art", and of course all are valid.

From my own perspective I'de like to able to produce something half as boring and lacking in detail as Gursky's image, and sell it for $40, I tip my hat to Gursky for his ability not as a Photographer, he's not, not as an "artist", he's not (in my opinion people), but as a business man, he has few to challenge him in this particular area.

My own abilities as an "artist" run to the odd (maybe more than the odd) out of focus image, I sometimes sit and look at these images and after a reasonable amount of expensive wine (someone earlier denigrated expensive wine, but it has it's uses & clearly the guy that paid 4 mill for gursky's image would agree with me), I start to see a potential piece of art, at some point, generally towards the bottom of the bottle of expensive wine, just before opening the second, I am convinced enough that I print the "piece of art" and show it to my Family for their appreciation.

It's the shuffling feet, sidewise glances of abject pity, the total silence that tend to give them away, bloody art critiques, world's full of them.