The World’s Most Expensive Photograph

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 15 2011 @ 9:47am

Is Andreas Gursky’s Rhein II, which sold for $4.3 million last week:


Jakob Schiller tries to understand:

A gallery professional, who asked not to be named for concern over adverse professional repercussions, thinks the price is a bit of a farce. He says he’s noticed a growing trend where photographers are working hard to re-brand themselves as “artists” so they can sell their pieces in the higher-priced fine art markets that don’t traditionally trade in photography. This sale, he said, smacks of that change.

While he tries to take a balanced approach and realize that any sale of this kind has the potential to reflect positively on the medium of photography, he also said it’s important to call a spade a spade and avoid turning photography into something it’s not.