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Thread: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

  1. #1

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    $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/entert...162322316.html

    This is a story on the recent purchase by the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia) of a work by Canadian photographer Jeff Wall for a cool A$1,000,000. This is especially interesting since Wall, 60, is still vertical and breathing. Good for him. I have seen a good number of his truly interesting works and I think this is great news for fine art photography at large.

    What do you think?

    PS Wall, a fellow LFer, shoots staged events in color with an 8x10 Sinar and produces backlit "Cibachromes" of gigantic proportions.

  2. #2

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    Re: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    I think he should have held out for 2 million. Grin.

  3. #3
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Re: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Grenier View Post
    [url]
    PS Wall, a fellow LFer, shoots staged events in color with an 8x10 Sinar and produces backlit "Cibachromes" of gigantic proportions.
    and a Canadian to boot (of the West Coast/Vancouver school)
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  4. #4

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    Re: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    Hmmm. I wonder, if after converting AU currency to Canadian, he made enough to pay the broker's commission?
    Michael W. Graves
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    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  5. #5
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    Having worked in and with commercial galleries for some time I still think the old mantra about art sale prices is true. Only three things matter:

    The more renowned the artist the higher the price.

    The fewer art pieces on the open market the higher price.

    The better the physical condition (scratches, dings, fading, signatures,...) of the work the higher the price.

    Jeff Wall may command $1 000 000 but only if paying that much confers prestige rather than scorn on the buyer. Auction houses are masters at making buyers feel good about their (sometimes foolish) purchases.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  6. #6

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    Re: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    $Canadian 903,695.64

  7. #7

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    Re: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    The question is if they drop it do they get another?

    What are they actually buying for a cool $1000000.00 - the Jeff Wall as an 'image' to hold forever, whatever might happen to it, or a print - purely a single physical entity?

    "After-all, you can just print me another one can't you." (Not telling who said that.)

    Is it one print of an image or a license for one image? I think this is becoming a hot issue in any percieved reproductive practice - the dirty side of digital.

  8. #8
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Re: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    Quote Originally Posted by bicubic View Post
    The question is if they drop it do they get another?

    What are they actually buying for a cool $1000000.00 - the Jeff Wall as an 'image' to hold forever, whatever might happen to it, or a print - purely a single physical entity?

    "After-all, you can just print me another one can't you." (Not telling who said that.)

    Is it one print of an image or a license for one image? I think this is becoming a hot issue in any perceived reproductive practice - the dirty side of digital.
    What a load of bollocks - nothing to do with digital. They get a photograph - just the same as any other high end art photograph they buy (in this case actually a large transparency).

    (do you get the right to repoduce an expensive Hockney print you buy - no)

    if it's the "dirty side of digital" then it's the dirty side of photography. It's not like photographs haven't sold as art before...

    As, among other things, who said this was digital? It's a 1994 work and would most likely have been printed traditionally/in an analog darkroom - as were all of Wall's pieces from that period

    (BTW Wall is a very important forerunner of and influence on the whole Dusseldorf school of Struth/Gursky/Hoefer et al)
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  9. #9

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    Re: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    More to the point, Wall has an established reputation as someone who doesn't 'flood the market' with large numbers of copies of his works.

    The whole 'flood the market' straw man misses the point. Even for painting, uniqueness of a work from a living artist is largely about trust and credibility, and Wall has plenty of both with those who matter in the serious art-buying world. Picasso painted endless identikit portraits of his wife in his late phase, and despite the grinding monotony of the works I don't hear too many owners complaining. Other artists have subverted the whole idea, or used it to feather their nests - witness Dali signing endless chits at $100 a time.

    And then there is the physical difficulty of 'flooding the market' with vast backlit prints face-mounted onto plexi. It's not like he can go out at night and leave piles of them next to the newspaper stands.

    Of course, anyone who actually read the referenced article would also know that this is Wall's personal copy of the work. The provenance will add to the price. There are two more - that's it. A flood of three, safely locked away in public collections, is more like a dribble, a drop or a faint breath of mist. No chance of getting your socks wet, let alone drowning.

  10. #10
    Japan Exposures
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    Re: $1,000,000 (Aus) for a Jeff Wall.

    I am not entirely sure why we should care about this. Unless you are a "merchant of works of art" i.e. a businessperson of sorts, then it is very important.

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