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  1. #11

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    Itís true that for 1 million and 600 Euros the guy gets only a small picture. But what is the value of the picture to the person, who bought the picture, can be only told by him.

  2. #12

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    And just think: there were several underbidders. It is the most expensive 19th-century photograph at auction. That record was set just a few weeks prior to the auction of the tintype at $1.3 million in France for a Gustave Le Gray of ships. At $2.3 million Billy the Kid didn't just beat the last record, it clobbered it. Still, the most expensive photograph is a contemporary one by Gursky at $4.3 million.

  3. #13
    eclarke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I'm not a bleeding heart liberal, but I can't help thinking that there's something deeply immoral about someone spending this amount of money on a scrap of paper that will probably languish in a bank vault for the rest of it's existence when two thirds of the Worlds population go to bed hungry every night, I know it's the guys money and he can do what he likes with it, but I wonder how he sleeps at night.

    It's really messed up, eh?

  4. #14
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edp View Post
    It's a small contact print

    a scrap of paper

    It's a tintype. But yes, an obscenely expensive one.

    This amused me:

    The tintype format was an early type of photography which used metal plates to create reverse images, and the photograph led to the mistaken belief that the outlaw was left handed. This is why a 1958 film about his life, starring Paul Newman, was entitled The Left Handed Gun

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesi...hotograph-sold
    I think there were cameras with mirror arrangements to flip the image so that it wasn't mirrored. (I realize this is an almost year old post).
    The library of congress has been posting lots of tintypes from the civil war on its Flickr site lately, and some of the are the 'right way around'.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #15
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Some of the "right way round" tintypes were actually illusions - itinerant photographers photographing the civil war would have sets of props with fake military insignia carved of wood with the lettering reversed, so that in the photograph, "US" on a belt buckle would read correctly.

  6. #16

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    it's not a consumable, the piture costs what it did because it's unique and has value. It's not spending it's investing, like in a property or stock. As opposed to buying an expensive production car which is basically equal to flushing your cash down the toilet. So yes if he was to simply spend 1.6 million Euros recklessly then it would have been morally superior to give it to charity but this is different because he does not lose the money.

  7. #17
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Also, bear in mind (especially considering the kerfluffle going on in the Thomas Kinkade thread about what is art) that a significant portion of the value of this photo is historic. That quality supercedes any artistic merit or lack thereof of the image. It is much more likely than not that this will only increase in value over time, because it is a piece of history, not subject to changes in taste. The Gursky may well drop in value in the future if/when his work falls out of fashion.

  8. #18

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    Immoral?

    Ummm, that money still exists. It didn't disappear. It just belongs to somebody else now, and nobody is hungrier because of this transaction.

  9. #19
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    A colleague of mine was telling me the other day that he visited the Neue Gallerie in Manhattan and recommended getting the audio tour (which I never do), not necessarily for its insight into the collection, but because it is narrated by Ronald Lauder, the main benefactor of the collection, and gives some perspective on how a billionaire collector looks at art. There are passages, apparently, along the lines of--"I saw the painting, and I knew that I had to have it, whatever the cost. I approached the dealer, who said that a major museum was bidding on it, but that if it didn't work out, I could have it, and then I spent two sleepless nights thinking of nothing but owning the painting..."
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #20
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    A colleague of mine was telling me the other day that he visited the Neue Gallerie in Manhattan and recommended getting the audio tour (which I never do), not necessarily for its insight into the collection, but because it is narrated by Ronald Lauder, the main benefactor of the collection, and gives some perspective on how a billionaire collector looks at art. There are passages, apparently, along the lines of--"I saw the painting, and I knew that I had to have it, whatever the cost. I approached the dealer, who said that a major museum was bidding on it, but that if it didn't work out, I could have it, and then I spent two sleepless nights thinking of nothing but owning the painting..."
    Sounds pretty egotistical to me. Hopefully he's the kind of person who will loan it, or even give it to, some major art museum in the future, so that it can be enjoyed by all who visit. At least if/when it's on display.
    To me it's cool to be able to acquire and care for a unique object, but even better to be able to share it and give others the opportunity to enjoy it as well.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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