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What kind of critiques would this get

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From bop/Al (1,284) Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 4:38:55 PM CST

I find myself looking at this pic and wondering ..... What kind of critiques would it receive if it were to get posted on this site. Would love to hear peoples thoughts on it. Al

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From rgordley/Rich (7,085) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 4:47:21 PM CST

I'm guessing that if this were something I submitted I would be seeing some red thumbs. I would also be interested in others' thoughts, particularly if someone could explain what - besides the photographer's name makes this worth that much money.

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From sheenawilkie/Administrator (0) This user is a Premium Member This user is an Administrator Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 4:49:23 PM CST

I think for an image of this type it is impossible to evaluate it's worth or critique based on tiny web image. It could very well be an amazing print worth every penny and worth thousands of thumbs up.

Gallery work differs greatly from the vast majority of photos we see here which are primary family, travel and commercial work.

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From bop/Al (1,284) Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 7:22:40 PM CST

But aren't all pics critiqued here judged on a low res web image ?

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From sheenawilkie/Administrator (0) This user is a Premium Member This user is an Administrator Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 8:53:34 PM CST

Yes and I'm sure web display doesn't do some of them justice either.

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From jackielclements/Jackie (803) Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 8:01:16 PM CST

Here's the site where you can see an enlarged image. http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5496716

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From sheenawilkie/Administrator (0) This user is a Premium Member This user is an Administrator Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 8:55:46 PM CST

Still no comparison to what the print will look like.

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From karin2007/Karin (19,804) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 1:00:29 PM CST

I found a video that gives you an idea of the size of the image - the interview is also interesting, but unfortunatelky I could not find an English version -

actually the image is quite post-processed - the area there does not look like its presented in the photo - on the opposite side of the Rhine there is a coal-fired power station that he removed as well as quite a few other things - so its actually more an abstract than a landscape image

Link to the video

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From lukei/Luke (0) Send mail to this user on November 24, 2011 3:54:44 AM CST

How does that matter that much. The content of the image doesn't change when printed.

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From loiswakeman/Lois (17,231) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on November 24, 2011 6:24:53 AM CST

Only someone who's never been to an exhibition would say that!

There is a vast difference in impact between a small web image and a large well-printed photo on the wall.

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From swanda/John (1,022) Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 5:56:37 PM CST

What photographs, or other art work, sell for at auction has nothing to do with how "good" they are. All it takes is two or more rich people (or institutions) who really want the photo, for whatever reasons (rarity, perceived investment value, love of the artist, etc.) , and you get these huge prices.

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From bop/Al (1,284) Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 7:31:22 PM CST

Maybe you've hit the nail on the head there , "perceived investment value".

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From marshall/Marshall (12,326) Send mail to this user on November 12, 2011 11:21:57 PM CST

Mike Johnston, in one of the numerous discussions about this image in the last week, offered up the argument that value (at least in terms of price) is a result of status + rarity. I think that may be an oversimplification, but in this case, it's a well-regarded, generally high value photographer (who actually has previously held the record for highest price photo sale), and it is a very large print, also being 1 of 6, four of the others already being in major museum collections. Personally, I like the photograph, but I don't have 4 million dollars to buy it.

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From karin2007/Karin (19,804) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 3:45:25 AM CST

ok, it has been argued that the size of the image [73 x 143 in. (185.4 x 363.5 cm.)] is the factor that makes this image work ... well, there are definately a lot of images right here  on pSIG that would look outstanding, fantastic if they were enlarged to that size - IMO an outstanding image is also outstanding at a reduced size.

I would rate it with 1TU because I like the lines and the geometry - but I would say, the centered horizon makes the image a bit boring and I miss a point of interest - like somebody walking to break the monotony or a bird, or a different POV with a tree etc. I would critique the flat lightening and the muted colors ...

... but who am I?  Those  art connoisseurs would most likely argue, I know absolutely nothing about art ...

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From swanda/John (1,022) Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 10:05:29 AM CST

There may be images here that would look great enlarged to that size, but there are also lots which get great critiques based on the web file which would fall apart completely printed that large. Technique must be impeccable at that size. Also, in the fine art world, artists are not just judged by one image. Often it takes an understanding of the whole body of work to give value to an individual image.

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From photomarco/Freddy (9,213) Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 4:20:18 AM CST

I too had noticed the news about the enormous evaluation on that image and I have a quite clear opinion on it. It's a carefully composed, geometrically classic and interesting image somewhere in between a landscape picture, or a concept image or a still life. I too, like Karin, would award that with a 1 TU, if that is the question. Sheena is right when she points out it's very difficult, if not impossible for us to judge it from a low res file on the interenet: we must not forget that what was actually sold, is a large format print, not a virtual image on a monitor, so the actual ARTISTICAL value of THAT cannot be seen from our desk.

Speaking about the artistical value, the problem to me is always the message a work of art gives or gives not. Personally I came to the opinion that something (anything) is art when it tells me something, it communicates to me or (even better), when it gives me some kind of emotion. This definition is so general that it goes beyond aestehtics pure or plain technique, and is valid for every media used.

However I can understand perplexity when we are put in front of some intended works of art which raise the suspect of having come to be considered like that because they were "pushed" up by a famous name or supported by a strong artistical establishment around them. History of art (especially modern art) is full of examples. It's the eternal problem of understanding why Fontana's "cuts" on the canvases or Manzoni's cans of shit are axposed in the Louvre and valued millions. And it's the same problem of understanding why Van Gogh was not appreciated until after his death, most probably for not being well introduced enough.

Given all this, you may now recall bright examples of "universally recognized" works of art; these are the ones that have some appeal to the vast majority of observers over time. And you may also remember that there are works of art which are harder to understand. As a consequence, the artistic value of a work of art is variable and depends on the estimators. It's not an objective feature of the work itself. And I'm saying nothing new, of course.

As for the economic value, the subject is related, but in that case, especially for higher end art, investment considerations have to be done. If we here all agree that the tissue package I have on my desk is a work of art worth billions, then -within our closed circle- that will be the recognized value. I'm not shoveling Karl Marx into this but the MARKET value of an object is independent from the value of the matter it's made of. True for everythingh, but most true for art, I guess.

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From jaypi/Jay (40,895) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 5:47:56 AM CST

An artist doesn't come out of the blue selling his/her work for millions. The photo must be looked at knowing Gursky's history / ideas / other works.

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From karin2007/Karin (19,804) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 6:11:22 AM CST

"What is Art" probably cannot be defined, but to become an artist, whose work is selled for millions, you definately need a lobby of highly influencial, rich people behind you - some of those people I suspect do not have really good judgement and taste ...

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From jaypi/Jay (40,895) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 8:39:22 AM CST

The wealthiest most influential person wouldn't buy a badly captured family snapshot for millions unless the artist is his/her son/daughter. No curator will show such a snapshot in a museum unless he/she is looking for a donnator for a new wing to the museum. No one will think it is important art unless it is part of a great body of work of that artist. If they do, they'll buy it for millions.

Don't under estimate highly influential rich people. They have judgement and taste and eyes and a nose and pros to consult with.

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From bop/Al (1,284) Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 8:26:06 AM CST

Not sure if i'd agree with that. From a personal point of view, I think any piece of work should be viewed on it's own merits. For example, you could have the best song writer or band in the world but that's not to say from time to time they'll produce an absolute stinker of an album.

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From jaypi/Jay (40,895) This user is a Premium Member Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 9:19:04 AM CST

We all have good work and "not so good". The not so good work of an artist is as important as his/her best and is sold at the same price or, sometimes, even higher when he/she is already an established artist. Things change with time, people see things differently and a not so good work might be enlightening.

And who said that this work of Gursky is a "not so good" one?

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From bop/Al (1,284) Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 10:15:22 AM CST

I didn't imply that it was a stinker, I was merely trying to use an example to illustrate my point.

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From sheenawilkie/Administrator (0) This user is a Premium Member This user is an Administrator Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 9:31:10 AM CST

I'd be happy to own a "stinker" painted by -- oh let's say Monet :-)

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From wdeon/Wayne (8,911) Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 6:54:24 AM CST

Not even a drunken 3TU;) Without seeing the actual print with my own eyes I can't say whether I would shell out $4 million or not. Someone in the art world would have to explain to me how it merits that price. I'd love to read those critiques. Whats in a name. Apparently $4million.

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From iostream/Dean (4,517) Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 7:26:51 AM CST

It would do poorly. It would probably get a single crit, maybe, or it would go to the neglected page and sit there until someone took pity on it. I don't think that this says much about either the work in question or about PhotoSIG other than that it is not the sort of image that attracts attention here. As Sheena points out, the physical print certainly has much greater impact than anything we can see on a computer screen.

Images that do well on PhotoSIG are web-scale images, lots of colour and punch readily identifiable at small size. The image referred to is almost a diametric opposite to that.

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From baba/David (39,595) Send mail to this user on November 13, 2011 11:35:26 AM CST

It gives me hope that one day I can sell a photo for 4 millions dollars.

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From kbr61263/Keith (4,982) Send mail to this user on November 16, 2011 1:37:12 AM CST

I have seen images of this TYPE here that get good scores and very postive critiques, and others that get none or poor critiques, sometimes an image just has a charisma about it which isnt possible to define, and it seems to rise above its constituent parts, thats not limited to very abstract stuff, but it seems more obviously there to me, when there seems little else in the shot to explain why its liked

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