Businessman buys photograph of a potato for 1 million euros

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by bobatkins, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/photography/businessman-buys-photograph-of-a-potato-for-1m-a6831681.html
    Next time someone asks you for advice about what to shoot, maybe vegetables would be a good idea. Weston did it with a Pepper and this guy did it with a rather ugly looking potato. This guy got just over $1millon for his. Weston had $300 in his bank account at the time of his death. Go figure.
     
  2. Weston died in '58. There were way fewer millionaires investing in "art" in '58.
     
  3. I assume this is going to generate a typical PN cynical thread about art, the art world, and the folly of rich art collectors. That discussion, IMO, is worth about as much as a photo of a potato.
     
  4. Thank you Fred!
     
  5. Most of the art involved here here is the Art of making money.
    There's more artifice involved than art.
     
  6. I have an apple in my fridge. It was left over from a 6,000 mile road trip about a year ago. I was just not in the mood for an apple after eating quite a few on the trip. Amazing that it looked fresh until about 2 weeks ago. Ya think it has some preservatives in it? Anyway, it has started to turn brown and wrinkling. I think it is about ready for some still life pics. I need the email or phone number of the European businessman:)
     
  7. Bob, all is explainable. The photograph is Kevin Abosch and the potato is Irish and organic. That explains the high price.
    It is sold to a "business man" and as you know such people know what they are doing when they "buy" a thing on the market.
    Or he is out of his mind.
    If you need more explanation, then it might just be, that, because Abosch presently is invited to participate at the Davos yearly event of the rich and powerful, he just need that one million event to be headline in world press to get attention - or his gallery owners and collectors thought it could be useful.
     
  8. Art can be part of a con game.
    Howzat?
    --Lannie
     
  9. Lannie, yes, art can be part of a con game. Like buying houses or used cars.
     
  10. Word on the street is the next picture was French Fries. Very transformative.
     
  11. That Rosetta spacecraft sent to comet 67P/Something-Something by ESA got some excellent space potato pictures. But they cost even more.
    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_arrives_at_comet_destination
     
  12. Isn't Kevin Abosch also Irish? That changes the dynamic completely. On the one hand it's about local farm to table (or
    farm to studio) values. On the other the photo, and the transaction itself, taken together are performance art. That an
    Irishman and his potato can bring in €1m in a single transaction turns on its head the long held societal misconception of
    Irish potatoes as a symbol of poverty. E.g. The Irish potato famine and the accompanying emigration. The profitability of
    the potato photo invokes (and critiques) centuries of social structures and history.
     
  13. Reminds me of the Peter Lik controversy. Do we know this sale is real or a publicity stunt a la Lik?
     
  14. A little of both, I think.
     
  15. T G for amateurs who only need the accolades from a few friends and the deep desire to photograph to express themselves. Wonder how Bernie S might classify Abosch if his revolution ever becomes a fact.
    Does the Art Gallery in Serbia or art advisor for Dublin airport know something that the Tate or MOMA galleries do not?
     
  16. Arthur, the photo that was sold for the one million was "Potato #345". When Tate or MOMA wakes up, I'm sure they still can buy #345 or #346 somewhere on the market, if they are alert enough.
     
  17. I'm still not loving the potato, but I do think the potato and his work as a whole takes on a bit more meaning and has a different impact when seen in context, something every photographer deserves, IMO. So, HERE'S his website.
     
  18. it

    it

    Marketing BS.
     
  19. The fact that someone is willing to pay a million dollars for a work does not make it art.<br>The fact that someone is willing to pay a million dollars for a work does not make it not art.
     
  20. I have no problem with the wealthy (and not so wealthy) supporting art and artists. Coming from central european heritage - I have no issues with potatoes either.
     
  21. History will decide whether the potato investment was a good choice. Art is inextricably mixed with commerce, and one-upmanship and always has been (look at the Medicis) - it doesn't really say a lot about Art. I think this is one of the things that makes art and Art so interesting and difficult.
     
  22. Bottle of good wine is more important than your lens.
     
  23. Bottle of good wine is more important than your lens.​
    I'll drink to that.
    --Lannie
     
  24. You have to admire Abosch's business model. Not only can he sell his spud studies for a million dollars, but he also saves big on studio backgrounds by always using black.
     
  25. I think he was just playing black to Richard Avedon's white, another cheapskate. ;-)
     
  26. I don't understand why the photos on his site are especially good. The pill bottle and picked over chicken may be
    slightly interesting to someone but I don't get it. His portraits are straight on and really don't tell us anything about
    the subject or show emotion.

    I can't understand why his work is so sought after.

    FWIW I think it was a stunt.
     
  27. His portraits are straight on and really don't tell us anything about the subject or show emotion.​
    I take that to be just his point. I think he's looking at people as he does other objects, and not for their inner emotions or personal identity. To me, it's a breath of fresh air to find someone intentionally objectifying people through photography, which can be very much about the look of things and not about the soul of things. In a sense, the series, for me, breathes a new kind of life into the objects shown and tells a story of ways in which people, from a certain perspective, are objects. It's what we are to the drug companies who make those pills, by the way, which he may or may not have had in mind. The red haired woman followed by the red-hued potato is saying something about their connection, not necessarily about the person and the potato each in themselves.

    I'm not saying any of this, Lynn, to convince you to like this series, and I honestly haven't approached it that way for myself, as a matter of like or dislike. But I do think there is something to be understood here, and figured I might as well convey to you some of my own understanding of it.
     
  28. Fred

    Sorry it took so long to get back....

    Looking back at the series as a whole I can appreciate your point of view. I was looking more individually at the
    photos and couldn't see the where he was going.
     
  29. How to play the post-modern art game:
    1. Have an idea which requires no talent or effort (e.g, rephotography, potato, crumpled paper).
    2. Be the first to do it.
    3. Become wealthy.
    4. Get publicity.
    5. ?
    6. Rule the world.
    'Chacun à son goût', as they say in Monaco.
     

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