Call me ignorant – But how on earth did this image sell for $4.3m (£2.7m) – Rhine…

14 Nov 2011 admin In G+ Posts
Call me ignorant – But how on earth did this image sell for $4.3m (£2.7m) – Rhine II by Andreas Gursky sold for $4.3m (£2.7m) at Christie's in New York, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction

I feel if we here were asked to critique that shot – it would more than likely not even get a comment……

Eyewitness: Rhine II
Photographs from the Guardian Eyewitness series

Comments: 30

  1. Lisa Rose 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    This is a joke, right? Why in the world would ANYONE pay for that photo?

  2. Jenny Smith 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    Good question cause I am with you, I am clueless! It's a picture of grass, water and a cloudy sky, hardly worth that much! wow!

  3. Jason Stenger 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    I'm not any kind of artist or photographer, but I had similar thoughts. I thought maybe it was just my non-creative brain failing to make the right emotional connections.

    Hey, but congrats to Andreas Gursky for maing it work I guess.

  4. Cho Tang 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    Looks like a shot some tourist took from their tour bus. Well I don't understand the upper class art community anyway. Might as well have donated the millions to a charity is my thought

  5. Eric Piercey 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    I already went off on this in about 5 other shares, so I already gave on this one.

  6. Andrew Benson 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    If you all are really interested in why paintings sell for so much, I've linked to some good resources in this post:

  7. Kim Kuffner 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    I was thinking about that the other day when I read this.

  8. Maybe the words of the photographer will provide insight into the reason, or perhaps it's the words that sold the photo, not the photo itself: "It says a lot using the most minimal means … for me it is an allegorical picture about the meaning of life and how things are."

  9. Glen Berry 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    +Andrew Benson What I'm really interested in, is how I can sell my photographs for similar prices! 🙂

  10. Cho Tang 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    +Ashish Caleb Gattegno Wow…left me speechless

  11. Howard Weitzel 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    Well….the horizon IS very level…that's gotta be worth what? At least a buck and a quarter…not sure where the other 4.29999 million is…

  12. Brent Burzycki 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    +Glen Berry Ha – yes….. I would love to shoot this level of image and get paid for it…..

    I am amazed I would love to interview the buyer to see if they are just not of this world…..

  13. Yulius Rianto 14 Nov 2011 Reply


  14. Shelly Gunderson 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    Bwahaha +Howard Weitzel ! From conversations I have seen prior to this, the photographer is well known and respected and because of the size and availability of this. In my opinion it just goes to show that even well known photographers can produce horribly boring stuff. I can't believe just because someone is well known you would pay that much for this. beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess.

  15. LaDonna Pride 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    the funny thing to me…is he worked to make it this boring. He photoshopped out a dog and people and a factory!

  16. Ron Wiecki 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    part of the point of this is the boringness.

  17. Jason Stenger 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    Hey, +Ron Wiecki for a lot less than 4.3 million I can take some reallllllly boring pictures that put this to shame.

  18. Brent Burzycki 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    I would give you 4.3 million good images for that money….

  19. Jason Stenger 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    +Andrew Benson Great post. Thanks. It helps put it in perspective a little. I guees it's still hard to imagine that if I had $4.3 million laying around with nothing to do with it what would I do with it. Me, not buy this picture that's for sure, but obviously it spoke to someone and I guess that makes it true art right?
    Like I said congrats to Andreas Gursky.

  20. Glen Berry 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    There's one thing most people here might not be aware of. This photographer uses a large format camera and prints these images in huge mural sizes. The level of detail and clarity is supposedly exquisite, and the quality is far beyond what you will ever see in an online JPG copy of his work. That said, I won't make any comment on the artist's choice of subject matter. 🙂

  21. Glen Berry 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    +LaDonna Pride What you call boring can also be referred to as purity. He removed the dog, people, and factory to increase the purity of the image. Hardly anyone pays for boring, but many people will pay for purity. It's all in the way it's marketed and perceived.

  22. LaDonna Pride 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    he called it "starkness" I believe, not purity….but I guess either word works

  23. Ricardo Williams 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    Are you serious +Brent Burzycki … that is non-sense….

  24. Ron Longmore 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    Negativity Isn't Necessary.
    At some point a photograph will be sold for $5,000,000.00.
    Put some film in your cameras, and shut up, and shoot !!!

  25. Ricardo Williams 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    I dont consider this negativity. As much as photography is subjective… they are some things that make no sense.

  26. Ron Longmore 14 Nov 2011 Reply

    OK; There are negative comments, which
    I interpreted as negativity. Just my opinion …
    I guess I am critical that only a few very well
    connected artist can have their work sold at
    that level. Hopefully, some day that will change.
    Hopefully !

  27. Anthony Keic Wong 15 Nov 2011 Reply

    It must have been easy money for certain people!

  28. Chuck Jackson 19 Nov 2011 Reply

    I said the same thing, man…o_O

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