Archive for April, 2008

Continuing on my previous post, I thought it would be quite interesting to post the most expensive photographs ever sold. The list has been compiled according to everyone’s favorite source (Wikipedia). While many will doubt the photographic value of some of these photos, one thing is for certain; photography has entered the art world and is gaining ground in galleries everyday. Still, there is quite some way till a photograph reaches the $137.5 millions that Willem de Kooning’s Woman III (or the alleged $140 million of Jackson Pollock’s No.5) was sold for.

10. Identical Twins (1967) by Diane Arbus $478,400

Identical Twins

9. Tree (1855) Gustave Le Gray $513,150


8. Untitled 5 (1997) Andreas Gursky $559,724

Untitled V

7. Moonrise (1948) Ansel Adams $609,600

6. Andy Warhol (1987) Robert Mapplethorpe $643,200

Andy Warhol

5. The Great Wave (1857) Gustave Le Gray $838,000

The Great Wave

4. Temple de Jupiter (1842) Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey $922,488

Temple de Jupiter

3. Untitled (Cowboy) (1989) Richard Prince $1,248,000

Untitled Cowboy

2. The Pond-Moonlight (1904) Edward Steichen $2,928,000

The Pond-Moonlight

1. 99 Cent II Diptychon (2001) Andreas Gursky $3,346,456

99 Cent II Diptychon


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Andreas Gursky

Gursky’s work resembles that of Wall’s, not in style or technique, but merely on size. Born in 1955 in Leipzig, Germany, he was the son of a commercial photographer, giving him the chance to learn the tricks from a young age. It was at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf however that he really mastered the art under the influence of Bernd and Hilla Becher. At the beginning, he was part of a movement of Becher students that slowly began to break into the photographic world.

But Gursky’s talent was more than evident and soon differentiated himself from the minimalistic compositions of Becher and developed his own style with rich colors, large scale and plenty of detail. His early work documented the travel and leisure world, with hundreds of people imposed as details in immense landscapes, resembling patterns on a canvas. He later moved into more industrial and contemporary subjects such as warehouses, parliaments, office and hotel structures, capturing in detail and vivid colors humans and object from all corners of the worlds (Shanghai, Brasil, Los Angeles,Hong Kong) emphasizing the effect of capitalism and globalization in modern life.

Gurksy has (at the moment) the exclusive characteristic of having created the most expensive photograph in the world. It is ironically called “99 Cent II” and was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in February of 2007 for $3,346,456. He is also responsible for the 8th most expensive photograph ever sold (“Unitled 5” for $559,724). The full list of the most expensive photographs of all time will be posted here soon…

99 Cent IIShanghai

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Jeff Wall

Canadian photographer Jeff Wall has been a real influence in bringing photography into galleries as a real form of art. His work can be characterized simply as contemporary art and resembles more to the basics of painting rather to photography.

He has become famous for the use of large-scale backlit phototransparencies, resembling those of bus-stop advertisements. Instead of following the photographic method of framing, waiting and shooting, Wall produces photographs that represent scenes and places he has witnessed before. He would then stage on location or even build entire sets duplicating the scene and carefully planning and executing his photographs. Much like a painter, Wall carefully works on each of his photographs for long periods of time, sometimes even months (his work dates only around 130 pieces).

For more information, read the amazing article by Arthur Lubow in the New York Times, “The Luminist”. And for the music lovers, get a hold of Sonic Youth’s compilation album with Wall’s album cover (and title) “The Destroyed Room”.

The destroyed roomMilkA Sudden Gust of WindMen waitingThe PrologueMimic

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Nouvelle Vague

Love them or hate them, Nouvelle Vague have a unique style of transforming classic new wave and post-punk songs into bossa nova lounge hits. I can’t say I’m a big fan of the band but I just visited their site and its unique style and design was worth the visit. The same goes for some of their photos and especially their album covers.

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Web photo mag

And on the same note, another excellent free mag is webphotomag, which has one of the best layouts I’ve seen in free press. Each issue includes a set of portfolios and accompanies each photograph with the story behind it. Another great mag, with emphasis on more “classic” photography rather than experimental or contemporary.

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Büro am Meer

As promised (sooner than I expected), one of the free pdf mags that is really worth checking out is Sven Hoffmann’s Büro am Meer. Each issue (with 36 currently available for download) showcases a different portfolio with a unique theme. The quality and ingenuity of some of these issues are really impressive.



2 weeks alone on the road


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Hooked on Free Press

I just found out a really cool site offering links and updates to free pdf mags around the world, revolving mainly around arts. Pay them a visit for your daily inspiration and I will be posting my view on some of the most ineresting mags available (mainly concerning contemporary photography).

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