Previously, in Part 1, I talked about some expensive cameras. So what’s the best way to be able to afford a camera worth £25,000? How about selling a photograph for £2,500,000.
Today I want to point you to this post on 500px which talks about the most expensive photographs ever sold. Given that photographs are easy to reprint it’s kind of strange that some photos should sell for such large amounts, but I assume the buyer has assurance from the photographer that no other prints will be made – perhaps even that the digital file or negative will be destroyed. There’s also a Wiki page with a slightly different list.
The most expensive, at 3.2 million Euros is an interesting image but nothing spectacular and probably a shot that hundreds of other people have taken in the past and thought little about. I guess that’s what makes it interesting, in that it takes photography to a more conceptual level.
Just as Picasso and his generation moved art into a Modern era of interpretation rather than representation, so Andreas Gursky is doing the same with his photo.
Number 6 on the list is also a Gursky shot that sold for 2.4 million. I have to say I rather like this picture as it is documenting today’s consumer-driven lifestyle, but is it worth millions?
Cindy Sherman appears twice on the list, and I have to confess I don’t know much about her work so that’s a little research project for me. Both the images on the list are clearly posed and stylised to a particular concept and both ask as many questions as they answer. Although simple in form and composition they are both compelling images.
I also like the Billy The Kid image at number 10 – of course this style has become ubiquitous over recent years. Initially at fun-fairs or print outlets where you could have your image processed into a Western style, and more recently with photo apps that do this conversion instantly. So it’s easy to forget that back in the late 1800s the taking and making of photographs was a difficult and time-consuming business.
I also like the juxtaposition that presumably this image was used on a Wanted poster – where the originator of the image was offering to pay a member of the public for the real person, whereas these days it’s usually a member of the public paying the originator for a copy of the image.
And the significance of the images in this post? Well these are all shots that I’ve had exhibited – the nearest I’ve come, so far at least, to a million pound pay day!