The recent sale [sold privately] of the most expensive photo in the world has been called many things, some less polite than others; like “it’s nothing more than a marketing stunt” and “completely absurd”. It could have been an absurd marketing stunt by the photographer, Peter Lik, and if it was then congratulations to him for his marketing skills. If it wasn’t than congratulations to him for his good fortune. The photo titled “Phantom” has also been called a few positive things such as “powerful”; wait that was Lik himself who said that one. But there was someone out there who thought the image was something more than powerful if he or she was willing to spend millions of dollars to own it. [Oh; by the way, the buyer remains anonymous.]
I’ve seen reports that this photo, which is a black and white conversion of his color image titled “Ghost”, was sold for $7.8 million. I’ve also seen reports that it was sold for $6.5 million. Either way that’s an expensive image to hang on your wall!
“…Some art experts haven’t been able to figure out how, then, his artwork has sold for so much. They’re pretty, no doubt, in the way that your desktop background and screensaver are pretty. But with millions of dollars at stake, does prettiness cut it? “These prices are very high and certainly, in terms of other successful photographic artists, seem somewhat bizarre,” the Herald quoted art consultant David Hulme saying. Commenting on one of Lik’s pieces that went for $1 million, he added: “I don’t fancy the owner’s chances of recouping anywhere near what he paid for this one.”…”
This sale along with others by Lik has really stirred up the controversy and maybe that’s what he was trying to do. Maybe he really wasn’t trying to rock the art world on their collective ears, maybe he was just trying to get his name out there on an even grander scale. I don’t know. I do know that I prefer this image in its black and white state better than its original color; but worth millions? I don’t really think so; but then again I’m not an art collector so what do I know.
I’ve added a few links for you to read more and decide for yourself. Is this guy really the greatest master photographer in both Australia and America? Or is he simply a master marketer a kin to a used car salesman hustling his photographs.