Rhine II – WTF!!


This 1999 photograph provided by Chrisitie's shows the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky. Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass was sold for $4.3 million Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Christie's in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, Andreas Gursky)

This 1999 photograph provided by Chrisitie's shows the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky. Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass was sold for $4.3 million Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Christie's in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, Andreas Gursky)

WTF! exclaimed akalol. “$4.3 million US dollars for a photograph!”

I was not complain only surprised that someone paid so much money for a photograph in these uncertain economic times. I also wondered why this photo. Was it the camera – Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, or Sony that some like to pointlessly argue? Was it taken with film or digitally recorded on a super-fast Sansa SD card bought from Amazon? Was it a scene that can never be captured again? Did the Rhine evaporate since 1999? Was it the 81 x 140 inches size since size does matter despite claims by the unfortunate that it doesn’t? Would the answers to any of these questions affect the price? I doubt it. If the photo looked the same but was a picture of the Caroni River and not the Rhine would the photo even fetch a price? It might if the photographer was Andreas Grusky, photographer of Rhine II and who ” is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential photographers of his generation.” I never heard the name Grusky until this week but thanks to Google I found out he is quite famous despite never doing weddings.

All I can assume is that the photograph called Rhine II fetched that record price since it was considered “art” by those influential ones who know what art is, or at least pretend to know. Works of art are works of creativity and the photo above is creative to some and probably represents more than just bands of grass, road, grass, water, more grass and then dull sky. One can only assume this photo represents something very deep to the buyer and hopefully even the  photographer but to the average blogger, looking at this low quality small photo, it simply looks kind-ah-nice.

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Long before Anya Ayoung-Chee made Trinidad and Tobago proud for a third time, there was a Trinidad postage stamp from 1847 selling for around US$29,999.00. The stamp features the paddle steamer called the Lady McLeod which sailed between Port of Spain and San Fernando from 1845 to 1854. This rare stamp can be bought on eBay from a seller based in New York if you are interested in boosting your collection. Like all collectibles, its value is based on what collectors are willing to pay which is determined by how rare an item is and the condition of that item. The price of these collectibles are somewhat subjective but not as subjective as the price placed on works of art by those with money.

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4 thoughts on “Rhine II – WTF!!

  1. Hmph….I obviously doh have an eye or appreciation for art since I probably won’t even pay $100TTD for that picture. I’d just find my own patch of road/grass/water and point and shoot with a little 5 megapixel any-kind-of-working-camera and get a better shot. The true creativity would have been if he actually made the water flow or something. Then again, maybe that patch of grass is now prime waterfront real estate for a condo development and some sentimental person wants to remember it when…. Still doesn’t sound plausible but I’m trying more scenarios in my head to justify that price for something that isn’t even as pretty as me…..LOL.. Maybe I’ll come up with something more interesting.

    • I almost had nightmares thinking about the photo and that is when I realized if the price makes the photo a curiosity then it must be art rather than simply a photo of some worth. If someone did try this type of shot with the Caroni River they may get grass, old tires, chicken feathers, assorted garbage, polluted water, floating plastic bottles, Junior Sammy and/or Coosal trucks, grass, a holdup in progress, two dead dogs on the road. That photo will be worth more than ten million words but nearly no dollars.

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