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Author Topic: Record for any photo sold at auction set in NYC  (Read 15544 times)
geesbert
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« Reply #40 on: November 14, 2011, 05:26:01 AM »
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I am so tired of this discussion....

my kid could do that... but unfortunately they don't, so I still have to pay for their schooling...
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TH_Alpa
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« Reply #41 on: November 14, 2011, 07:53:58 AM »
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Nope, if you thought that it looked like a million other photos on Flickr that's because it does.
+1
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Martin Kristiansen
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« Reply #42 on: November 14, 2011, 08:23:20 AM »
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I think it is an incredible image. No opinion on its worth in terms of dollars.
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paulmoorestudio
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« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2011, 09:40:20 AM »
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I think the image is wonderful..right where I am at visually for my personal work and it would have fit seamlessly into a show I had in may.. 18 photographs revolving around water..and it would have been one of the 14 not sold..even at my ridiculous price of 200 (including 30x24 frame!)..for many reasons that really are pointless.. Life is not fair, or equal, or logical, get over it.. and when it comes to art, it really all goes out the window. 
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2011, 10:34:13 AM »
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Why does it take 5 photographers to change a light bulb? Well, you need one to change the bulb and the other four to stand there and say "I could have done that, and better too".

I don't 'like' the image either - but that is my problem - and maybe 'liking' it is to miss the point entirely. The fact is that a certain group of people do like, and value, this Low Graphic Style or New Topographics stuff and are prepared to pay big bucks for prints. They are not the least interested in what others think, it's their money and their taste, that's as far as it goes. Gursky is one of the leading proponents of a particular genre of art photography that is considered valuable by some people. Good for them.

Don't get it? Fine, move on, nothing to see here...




+10!!!
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #45 on: November 14, 2011, 03:08:38 PM »
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There is some subject matter or composition that would suddenly be "worth" $4.3 on "merit", but not this?

Huh?  

I'm not sure you're understanding me correctly.. so lets try this.  Tell me what you see in this image that makes it worth $100 much less 4.3m?  Aside from the artists background and reputation.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #46 on: November 14, 2011, 03:09:46 PM »
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... someone paid $4.3 million for a photograph - more than anyone, ever.  There's your raised bar.
So cost along raised your bar on "art?"   Okay, I see where you're coming from.  I can't agree, but I see your mindset.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #47 on: November 14, 2011, 03:15:17 PM »
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Ok, lets see those "innocuous questions" that were posted before I used "sour grapes" (sour grapes = insult? Really!?):

- "it looked like a million other photos on Flickr"
- "it looks like what 99% of people would delete after taking it"
- "the art world really has nothing to do with art, and everything to do with being hyped"
- "crap"
- "art work done by high school students better the some of the so called art"
- "Any one can be an artist its convincing every one else that you are"
- "a sad reflection on the state of our present society"

If these are just "innocuous questions", and not statements, meant as a condescending criticism of both modern art and Gursky, then, my friend, we live on different planets.

I admire Fred's educational attempts. I do. But I also consider them futile. I surely do not expect people to become educated in modern arts by reading a few otherwise well intended and well written forum posts. Although, given the current era of instant experts, or, as I call them "PhDs in googling", I would not be surprised that someone does expect so.




Yes, these were responses.  Honest responses.  You and others here had an opportunity to direct the flow of conversation to something educational and pleasant.  But you did not.  Education comes in all forms and learning on forums is just one way, but it is a way.  Well intentioned polite responses, but no one seems interested in that.  What they seem interested in is labeling.  "I'm an educated artist and you are not."  If you like I could educate you exactly what this sounds like.  Even if it is already obvious.

Do you notice you haven't once supported this image with a comment an educated "artist" would make.  All you've done is cast snide insults? 
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« Reply #48 on: November 14, 2011, 03:20:30 PM »
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Why does it take 5 photographers to change a light bulb? Well, you need one to change the bulb and the other four to stand there and say "I could have done that, and better too".

I don't 'like' the image either - but that is my problem - and maybe 'liking' it is to miss the point entirely. The fact is that a certain group of people do like, and value, this Low Graphic Style or New Topographics stuff and are prepared to pay big bucks for prints. They are not the least interested in what others think, it's their money and their taste, that's as far as it goes. Gursky is one of the leading proponents of a particular genre of art photography that is considered valuable by some people. Good for them.

Don't get it? Fine, move on, nothing to see here...






This all makes sense until the last line.  You don't like the image either.  But isn't discussion as to why someone doesn't like an image as important as why someone does?  And why should anyone be insulted for expressing an opinion?  If I post an image I don't expect only the people who "get it" to comment, and the rest to move on.  I expect feedback from all quarters.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2011, 04:06:07 PM »
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So, Steve, expressing one's opinion so eloquently ("crap") is, in your world, just a "honest, polite, educational, and pleasant response"... while using the words "sour grapes" is an insult? We indeed live on different planets.

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Slobodan

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« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2011, 04:31:38 PM »
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For me personaly, forgeting about the artist's reputation and technique, this image touch me in 3 ways.
- I find it perfectly composed, the way the horizontal lines are distributed creates a rythm that is a tribute to perfection, or absolute.  
- I like the rigor, minimal and severity of the overall image and subtle tones.
- The emptiness and simplicity.

IMO, without talking about the fact that it is Gursky, this is a very fine image.

I would certainly hang that picture in my home. Would I pay that much money for it? No, because I simply do not have it.
If I had it, maybe.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 04:33:15 PM by fredjeang » Logged
tho_mas
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« Reply #51 on: November 14, 2011, 05:26:30 PM »
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To me Gursky's Rhine image shows a lot about the world we live in… the society and culture we live in. It shows much more about us as human beeings than any portrait I've ever seen.
At the same the image also (intentionally) tells a lot about the limitations of photography and about the meaning of photography as a "reproducing" image making tool.
The longer you watch it and the deeper you dive into the image the more dimensions you'll explore… specifically since the image is extremely minimalistic.
Well … again and again I am surprised how much photographers are hostile to art.

why should anyone be insulted for expressing an opinion?  If I post an image I don't expect only the people who "get it" to comment, and the rest to move on.  I expect feedback from all quarters.
quite legitimate objection.
However… always exactly those people who say "I could have shot this image as well" (or even better: "my wife could have shot this") or "you can see the same on flickr a million times" and so forth are bothered by art and the prices some people pay for art.
Really … I've never seen such a discussion anywhere on the internet (or elsewhere) started by someone who loves and understands art. Those discussions are always initiated by people who don't understand what art is about at all. Shockingly often by "photographers".
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2011, 05:33:28 PM »
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For me personaly, forgeting about the artist's reputation and technique, this image touch me in 3 ways.
- I find it perfectly composed, the way the horizontal lines are distributed creates a rythm that is a tribute to perfection, or absolute.  
- I like the rigor, minimal and severity of the overall image and subtle tones.
- The emptiness and simplicity.

IMO, without talking about the fact that it is Gursky, this is a very fine image.

I would certainly hang that picture in my home. Would I pay that much money for it? No, because I simply do not have it.
If I had it, maybe.

+1


P.S. You see, Steve, I "can support this image with a comment an educated artist would make"  Grin
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 07:35:36 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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cng
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« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2011, 06:19:00 PM »
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You and others here had an opportunity to direct the flow of conversation to something educational and pleasant.  But you did not.  Education comes in all forms and learning on forums is just one way, but it is a way.

I promised myself I wouldn't comment on this topic again, but once more into the breach ...

Steve, you are being slightly disingenuous by expecting everyone to educate you on the merits of Gursky's work.  Furthermore, you seem to be expecting a nice, short, easy answer in a photographic forum on contemporary photography.  I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but contemporary art photography is complicated and a lot has been written about it and it's practitioners.  Some glowing, others not so much.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at least make it an INFORMED opinion.  Simply saying I/my kid/my wife/flickr could do better is not good enough, and in fact rather snide (something you are very fast to accuse everyone else of).

We live in an age where information is abundant and free.  Why not TRULY educate yourself as to the meaning and value (or otherwise) of Gursky's work?  You're not going to get an answer that pleases you in 500 words or less in an internet forum.  Guess what?  It will involve a lot of reading, looking and thinking, i.e. hard work.

You want some help getting started?  In this particular context, do some research on the Dusseldorf School, Hilla and Bernd Becher, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Candida Hofer and Axel Hutte.  Google "[artist name] + criticism", or "[artist name] + interview".  Walk into any large bookstore and I guarantee you will a find at least one monograph on these artists.  Read the essays, look (really LOOK) at their images.  Better still, go and view the actual PRINTS if you ever get the chance.

Tell me what you see in this image that makes it worth $100 much less 4.3m?  Aside from the artists background and reputation.

Now who's being snide?  You do understand that Gursky's "background and reputation" is a result of technical ability and many years of hard work?  Born into a photographic family, educated under some of the premier artists of the 20th century (including the Bechers and Gerhard Richter), peer of other lauded photographers like Struth, Ruff and Hofer.  You can be sure that not all the graduates of the Dusseldorf School "made it" as photographers and artists, so why does everyone only talk about the same half dozen people over and over again?  Why are their works consistently so expensive on the secondary art market?  Fad?  Hype?  Quality?  Hard work?  Technical excellence?  Intelligence?  Critical rigour?  A little bit of all of the above?

Some on this forum have tried to point out why this work is interesting, but all you can come back with is that someone else could have done it.  Do you even know how the image was created?  How many times Gursky had to go back to the location before he got what he wanted?  What format it was shot on?  The post-production and retouching involved?  The preconception and intentionality involved in creating the image?  This is all easily found out with a simple Google search – if you were really, truly interested then you would have discovered all this already.

You have already made up your mind that the image is worthless (to you), and that anyone else could do better or the same (according to you).  Fair enough.  But it's not the prerogative of anyone on this forum to change your mind.  Like I said, if you were truly interested you would have taken the initiative and done some real research of your own.  BTW, in this context I don't think looking on flickr counts as research.

As to the price, the art market (especially the secondary market) is just that: a market.  Price is dictated by the highest bidder and their willingness to pay an amount higher than anyone else for the privilege of owning a particular work.  Expecting there to be some kind of rational, codified formula for what someone will pay is simply misguided, foolish and a little naive.

P.S.  Gursky works hard and is no technical slouch.  Have you seen his North Korean images?  It took an enormous amount of negotiation and pre-planning to gain access to the event and his final vantage point.  Not only that, each image is a blend of multiple exposures and focus stacks – on LF film!  Some shots from his other series involve blended exposures with two LF cameras shooting simultaneously with different focal lengths (normal and slightly wide).  His older work is shot using 5x7 but I have seen recent images of him working with a P1 back and an ALPA.

For the record, I am not a Gursky fanboy.  I like some of his images, but not all.  I have gone out of my way to educate myself on why the art and photographic worlds consider him and the Dusseldorf School so important.  The information is out there and (mostly) free, so I suggest you do the same.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 06:23:26 PM by cng » Logged
galupi20
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« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2011, 06:24:29 PM »
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To me Gursky's Rhine image shows a lot about the world we live in… the society and culture we live in. ...

May be this picture shows a lot about the world "you" live in. I dont think people who lives in Ciudad de Juarez thinks the same.

Well … again and again I am surprised how much photographers are hostile to art.

When an image become a piece of art ?

Luis
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uaiomex
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« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2011, 06:41:20 PM »
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I like your post a lot with one exception. It depicts the photograph better than anything I've read so far. Art is about expression. Expression is about speech and craft. This image has both. I concour with you that it is a portrait of our society. Remember it is said that you see the artwork and the artwork sees you. Surely with some training we could find the true profile of the owner(s). Me... I'm not an art expert but I can see a quest for a world full of vastness, emptyness and order. I never been to Germany but when I imagine this country, sometimes images like this spark inside my brain.

Other people might see something entirely different. Art is also about generating opinions. Taking into consideration this and believing the image quality is actually stunning, Rhein II is a piece of art.
Would I buy it? Only if absolutely I had everything in life and had $4.3M to spare. And perhaps maybe not, because I don't think it's worth that kind of money.

I don't think expressing our opinions about this piece is hostility of any kind to art itself. As a matter of fact, neither it is to Gursky and his expressions as an artist or photographer.
Or perhaps I'm just an ignorant, sorry, jealous old fart.  Shocked
Eduardo


To me Gursky's Rhine image shows a lot about the world we live in… the society and culture we live in. It shows much more about us as human beeings than any portrait I've ever seen.
At the same the image also (intentionally) tells a lot about the limitations of photography and about the meaning of photography as a "reproducing" image making tool.
The longer you watch it and the deeper you dive into the image the more dimensions you'll explore… specifically since the image is extremely minimalistic.
Well … again and again I am surprised how much photographers are hostile to art.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 09:18:48 PM by uaiomex » Logged
D!RK
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« Reply #56 on: November 14, 2011, 07:30:25 PM »
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Gursky's work is really fabulous. He is not a photographer. He is a photo artist. He used photo-editing software far before most of us even knew that you could upload an image to a computer.
As simple as some of his early photos look like they are actually not that easy to make. Captured with large format cameras, usually 5x7, he stitched images together to giant collages. This image of the river Rhine got reduced to is bare minimum. Just the water and the bed that it runs through. No trees, no buildings, just this artificially looking stream of water. I grew up in that area and this photo really captures the size and the feel of that river better than anything I have seen. Most photographers try to capture it in a romantic, beautiful fashion. He just created a portrait of what it is; a straight, industrial river. Gursky pioneered large scale printing. Think about what printers you used in the early 90ties. He wanted his images to be in the size of old paintings. Images that you can view from a distance and that would still reveal individual stories when observed as close-ups. With today's technology it is easier to pull something off like this. But he thought about this 20 years ago. It is interesting to see how he has influenced the style of contemporary photography. I can see that some may not like his work. That is fine. Art is polarizing. In many cases Art is labor intensive. His work is no exception. There is a good documentary on Youtube about the creation of one photo. It is in German but you may see some interesting scenes in there. It comes in 4 chapters and is 1h long. I like the first scene when they show his archive.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2Jwwh-99OA&feature=related

D!RK
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #57 on: November 14, 2011, 10:17:44 PM »
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Ken Rockwell says he used a Linholf 617: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/00-new-today.htm. If so, I wonder how he got such a big print from it.
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« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2011, 10:39:14 PM »
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Stitch? One up, one down?
Eduardo

Ken Rockwell says he used a Linholf 617: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/00-new-today.htm. If so, I wonder how he got such a big print from it.
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jduncan
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« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2011, 11:02:31 PM »
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What is art? That is a difficult question. Especially with contemporary art. You should not blame the artist for the strange art business. Who is selling this piece? Who bought it? Perhaps some speculation is going on in the background. It wouldn't be the first time. Perhaps some rich guy wants to show of with a Gursky in his living room and that amount of money is only peanuts for him.

If I remember it right Anselm Kiefer recently said it is sick that one of his paintings was sold for a huge amount of money.

Marcel Duchamp would smile about that. He once asked who is the better artist, the one who sells his paintings for more money?

You don't have to like that image, you don't have to be touched by it. But Gursky shows his images in museums and sells them very well and most of us here don't. And: He decides what he photographs. You can't buy him, you have to buy what he offers. Whether in 500 years someone understands why people payed huge amounts of money in our time fort photographs is a question we can't answer today.

I'm not touched by his images. Ansel Adams landscapes don't touch me either. But I think they are both artists and their images are art. And the value is, what someone is willing to pay for it. Don't mix up things. Bashing of modern art is too easy.

In my opinion art is a reflection about the society you are living in.

Just some thoughts.

Best,
Johannes

From a complete different perspective, since I am touch for both, I agree (and are moved) with your perspective including the humility to understand that we are not the owners of the only valid sight or the only sensitive hard.

About Ansel is my strong believe is that supreme  artists like Adams change the craft in the art. He in definitive did.

The legacy don't have to last, a lot of the work of  da Vinci proof to be misguided (talking about the "frescos") but the work impacted his generation and beyond.

Ok. So that's my 5cents,

Best regards,
James

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