Would you pay $4.3 million for this picture?

Rhine II by Andreas Gursky

When I saw this in the news today, I really wondered if there were people who had more money than they knew what to do with.

It’s not that I think it’s a bad picture.

It’s just sort of excessive.

When I think about why a picture may be worth a lot, I tend to think it might be because you can’t re-create the scene because something altered the scenery and it may never be the same.

Perhaps an industrialist built a giant factory on the shores of the Rhine.

No, as far as I can tell, that didn’t happen.

It’s a big picture by all accounts.

Then out of curiosity, I followed a link to listen to a more detailed description of the picture.

When you arrive at the webpage, click on the play button under the picture.

Please share your thoughts with on this picture. Thanks.
Peter Phun Photography

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10 thoughts on “Would you pay $4.3 million for this picture?”

  1. Hello Hector,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think it’s ludicrous that a picture like that can be sold for millions. Annie Leibovitz’s images I find are more compelling since they’re commissioned portraits of famous people and are more difficult to produce time-wise. Now you have me curious as to who bought that picture. They’re probably going to remain anonymous because they’re afraid they’ll be the laughing stock of the art world.

  2. Maria,
    Thank you for taking the time to comment. The more I think of it, the more I have to ask myself, “Would I have stopped to consider taking this picture?” Probably not, because I don’t find the scene particularly eye-catching. When it comes to pictures, I’m not a subtle kind of person. There are some who believe a photographer is supposed to show you what you might have missed. Well, there’s nothing in my mind to miss in that picture.

    I might have grabbed that scene with my phone just to prove that I visited the Rhine but that would be it. I certainly would print a monster billboard of it.

  3. I’m not sure I’d feel guilty, exactly. Shocked, certainly. I’d be afraid to cash the check for fear they’d want their money back.

  4. Peter you said “It’s not that I think it’s a bad picture.” but I was wondering if you think that is a good picture? I don’t even want to comment on the price obviously….but I’m sure that if it wasn’t for the price, that piece of “art” would have never drew much attention.

  5. Paul,
    The cost of printing the picture, getting it ready to hang, promoting et cetera might be about $1K but you’re right, that’s a lot of crack to be had for $4.3 million. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Jessica,
    I would feel extremely guilty to be paid that much for one picture. And you are correct that the writer of the description should be handsomely rewarded and the marketing folks, they too should come and work for me. 🙂 Again, I want to reiterate I am not saying it’s a bad picture. What I am saying is, it’s just way over the top.

    Money can be better spent on other things. Perhaps if I was the recipient of that check, I’ll change my tune. But I will have more of a chance winning the lottery than selling a picture for that much.

  7. In this case, I think the writer of those descriptions deserves the lion’s share of the profits. The idea of abstraction seems misplaced as I knew exactly what I was looking at in the first instant. I think it does, yes, sort of go abstract if you are determined to keep staring at it, but this is a case of AMAZING marketing more than anything else. It is pretty. I wouldn’t pay for it.

  8. A fool and his money are soon parted?

    Wow. I don’t think that it’s worth even one thousand dollars. And it’s even more amazing that someone would pay that much.

    Maybe because its the first of only six? Or they smoked a lot of crack.

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