Every August 19, World Photography Day is celebrated , an art that is worth its weight in gold and that celebrates the craft, science and history of photography. Professional photography has an important added value and, despite its accessibility, not everyone builds a discourse full of denunciation or beauty with the camera. For this reason, there are many who value this art and are willing to pay astronomical figures to get hold of a copy of these photographs that have become the most expensive in history .
This day also encourages photographers around the world to share a single photo that encapsulates their world. popularity _of photography remains undeniable, hence all the photography fairs that can be discovered throughout the world.
However, it seems that the most expensive photographs continue to be sold at auction. Here is an updated list with the most expensive photographs that have been sold (at least to date). A classification provided by the classified ads website, Clasf.es.
The most expensive photo in history as of December 2014 is $6.5 million and is the work of Australian landscape photographer Peter Lik ,
Phantom is a black and white shot of the Arizona Antelope Canon, a piercing sunbeam appearing as a ghostly figure in a cavernous space.
It was bought in November by a private collector, but this sale raises some concerns. Is it really worth it
If you have visited the Antelope Canyon, you will know that the guide makes all the tourists stop at exactly the same place at each step of the visit so that everyone has exactly the same photo. The guide throws sand to get ghost forms .
The claims about the sale have never been proven, and the buyer has not come forward, although a lawyer claiming to represent the buyer says the deal was real.
2. Rhein II
The Rhein II is a large photograph that is part of a series of 6 (this is the fifth) in color that represents a section of the Rhine riveroutside Dusseldorf.
Someone paid $4,338,500 for this Rhine River landscape captured by Andreas Gursky . The author decided to digitize the images and leave out the elements that bothered him (factories, people, dogs).
The image is immediately readable as a view of a straight stretch of water, but it is also an abstract configuration of horizontal bands of color of varying width.
This author has several photos for which they have paid a lot of money at auctions .
3. Spiritual America
The Ektacolor print was executed in 1983 and sold at Christies of New York for $3,973,000 on May 12, 2014.
It is a “rephotograph” of Garry Gross ‘s photo of Brooke Shields at age ten that is at the center of much controversy. Prince did not take the original photo himself, but instead made a photo of a photo. The original appeared in the softcore porn magazine Sugar ‘n’ Spice, and was commissioned by Shields’ mother in an effort to boost her career from a young age.
4. Untitled#96-Cindy Sherman
In May 2011, at Christie’s in New York, this photograph of Cindy Sherman (a self-portrait, as usual) sold for $3,890,500 .
This image was taken when she was 27 years old for Artforum magazine which, in fact, never published it. A seventh printing of the same image also sold in May 2012 for $2.88 million .
Cindy Sherman had a major solo show at MOMA and SFMOMA in 2012, which probably helped.
5. To Her Majesty
From her On June 30, 2008, this Gilbert & George photograph sold for $3,767,960 at Christie’s in London, UK.
Gilbert Prousch and George Passmore and their “Art for All” are very popular in Britain and work in various mediums. To Her Majesty is part of the Modern Rubish series of paintingsof the couple
6. Richard Prince: Untitled (Cowboys)
On May 12, 2014, another Richard Prince photograph, Untitled (Cowboy), was bought for $3,749,000 at Christie’s auction in New York.
This photograph was taken in 1998 .
7. Dead Troops Talk
A vision after an ambush on a Red Army patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986). The great attention to detail in the photography, the large scale, and the direct allusion to 19th-century history painting are probably some of the reasons why it sold for $3,666,500 in May 2012 at Christie’s in New York.
At first glance it looks like a real war scene, but in reality it has been staged in a studio with actors .
8. Richard Prince: Untitled (2000)
Another appearance on this list for Richard Prince , and another of his famous cowboy impressions. This is an example of Prince’s bold rephotography technique, and again it is a reproduction of an image that evokes the height of masculinity and the American ideal.
In this image, cowboys march in silhouette through the morning fog. In itself it is a disturbing work, but thanks to Prince’s audacious recontextualization, it becomes a challenge to consumer culture and the very nature of American identity in the second half of the 20th century. It sold at Christie’s for $3.5 million in 2016.
9. Richard Prince (2001-2002): Untitled (Cowboy)
Another appearance on this list for Richard Prince , and a third of his cowboy images. Significantly, this work harks back to the aftermath of 9/11, which makes its subject matter all the more poignant.
This is another image of the legendary Marlboro Man, this time sitting alone against a setting sun as a backdrop. It sold at Sotheby’s for $3.4 million in 2007.
10. 99 Cent II Diptychon
Here, Andreas Gursky presents an image of a supermarket interior, in which tidy shelves and brightly colored products create a sense of cheekiness. almost ghostly.
Like Gursky’s image of the Rhine, this one has been digitally altered to reduce perspective, making it even more dizzying and mind-bending.
It can be read as a commentary on consumerism, with rows and rows of products that almost blind the viewer with their fierce color. It sold for $3,346,456 at Sotheby’s in 2007.