Do Blue-Chip Photographers Prop up Global Capitalism?

In his recent manifesto, Jörg Colberg takes aim at three prominent photographers for their "visual propaganda."

That said, what are the “identical” mechanisms Colberg suggests that link these artists to their socialist-realist predecessors? Leibovitz, Crewdson, and Gursky produce a kind of capitalist propaganda that, like socialist realism, “does not aim to depict an actually existing reality but instead presents a code that can be read by its intended spectators.” Colberg derives his description of socialist realism from art historian Boris Groys, who suggests that this code entails stories about heroes, demons, transcendental events, and real-world consequences that serve the messaging needs of the powerful. In this formulation, Colberg’s neoliberal realists make images that perpetuate, or even celebrate, unjust power structures.

Andreas Gursky, The best of times – The Eye of Photography

There is a Gursky quote “My photographs are ‘not abstract’. Ultimately they are always identifiable. Photography in general simply cannot disengage from the object”, and it seems just right.  His recent “Les Meés” (2016), solar panels pieced into easy, rolling hills of rigid black and white rectangles, a carpet of dominoes, a truly romantic contemporary landscape, with the black and white offset by the green grass and the lightly colored sky.

Really? $4.3 Million for That Photo?

This week, auction house Christie’s sold the above photo by Andreas Gursky for $4.3 million, setting the record for all-time most expensive photo (the previous record was set by Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled #96,” which sold for $3.89 million). For many starv

Those unfamiliar with Gursky may be wondering: What’s so special about a picture of a river and some grass? What elevates that photo above so many others? And how did the price get so astronomically high?

For whom the mallet falls

Andreas Gursky’s photograph called “Rhein II”( apparently his second try at this) has just be sold for $4.3 million at Christies. Yes, you read this correctly :$4.3 million, making this the most expensive photograph in the world.

ANDREAS GURSKY: "From a World's Spirit's Eye View" (2007)

Let us remark that an increase in perspective, even one that goes hand in hand with a zooming in on the details, need not necessarily lead to a dramatic increase in size. The question remains what may have been the reason for Gursky's predilection of giant size. Before answering this question, let us first have a look at the other characteristics of Gursky' photos.

Andreas Gursky interviewed



In a rare interview Andreas Gursky talks to Guy Lane about an exhibition of his work in which many of his wall-sized prints are for the first time scaled down to modest proportions.


Review: Andreas Gursky (Kunstmuseum Basel) (Conscientious)

Andreas Gursky is one of the most important living photographers, despite the fact that his work is often being judged on nothing but else but its size or its price. While his photos are indeed monumental, size is merely a means to an end – as is obvious to a viewer who is confronted by one of Gursky’s photographs. The prints are not big simply because he can print them big, but because they have to be big, because of what they show and how they show it.

Check it out here.

Gursky Print Nets $1.375 Million For Charity – PDNPulse


A 2007 print of Andreas Gursky’s photo “Pyongyang IV” sold for $1,375,000 at Sotheby’s in New York last night. Gursky’s huge, richly detailed, distorted-perspective prints are favorites among contemporary art collectors, and several of his works have sold for seven figures in recent years.

Check it out here.

Gursky's "99 Cent" Prints Fetch Millions At Auction


Most recently, an anonymous bidder paid $2.48 million – with a sense of irony, one hopes – for Gursky’s “99 Cent II Diptychon” (2001), which shows the cluttered interior of a discount store.

The sale, made at a Nov. 16 auction at Phillips de Pury & Company in New York, set an auction record for a work by a living photographer. It fell short of the record for the highest price ever paid for a photo at auction, which was set in February when a 1904 Edward Steichen print sold for $2,928,000.

The work sold at Phillips consists of two chromogenic color prints displayed as a diptych that measures over 22 feet wide. The work is one of an edition of six.