Touching on some things that might prove controversial today. The Rhine II by Andreas Ghursky is the most expensive photograph in the world, there was one called Phantom that disputes this, but the sale of the Phantom has never been verified.
The Controversy: why would someone pay US $4,338,500 for a photograph? Let’s deal with the artist’s approach for a bit; by this stage he no longer approached a photograph without a plan, and lots of setting up; as I understand it, he shot several exposures on medium format film, then scanned and combined he images on his computer, with quite a fair bit of digital editing, removing buildings etc. The print itself is an impressive photographic C-print mounted to acrylic glass at a staggering 73″tall by 143″ wide (that’s roughly six feet by 12 feet).
Is it fair to call it a “photograph”? Should we call it a composite? Should we call it a photo-illustration? Should we simply classify it as art?
Originally posted to the Guyana Photographers’Facebook Group on May 15th, 2020; comments and discussions can be seen on that post.