He's the creator of the world's most expensive photograph – it sold for $US6.5 million – but the success of Australian fine art photographer Peter Lik raises questions about his empire, and his art.The entire article can be read on the Financial Review.
Peter Lik is in awe of himself. When he describes his career as a fine art photographer, he speaks with the satisfaction of a guy who has performed miracles, at the pace of a bystander who has just caught a glimpse of Superman.
The words tumble forth in self-exalting, run-on sentences, most of them laced with profanity, all of them in his sunny, chummy Australian accent.
"I'm the world's most famous photographer, most sought-after photographer, most awarded photographer," he said one recent afternoon, sipping a can of Red Bull in a conference room at Peter Lik USA, a 100,000-square-foot headquarters in Las Vegas devoted solely to the production and sale of Peter Lik photography.
"So I said" – and what Lik said next is an unprintable version of "the heck with it," and then – "I want to make something special, special, special, special."
That something special was a photograph called Phantom, an image of an eerily human-shaped swirl of dust in Antelope Canyon in Arizona. In December, his company announced in a news release that an anonymous collector had spent $US6.5 million ($8.4 million) for Phantom. That crushed the previous record, held by Andreas Gursky, whose Rhein II fetched $US4.3 million at an auction in 2011, and Cindy Sherman, whose Untitled #96 brought $US3.9 million at another auction the same year.
But Gursky and Sherman are titans, with solo shows in pre-eminent museums.
Who is Peter Lik?
National Geographic’s top editors explain how to keep photography honest in the era of Photoshop—and why they’ll never move the pyramids again.Check out the entire article on the National Geographic website.
In the digital age, when it’s easy to manipulate a photo, it’s harder than ever to ensure that the images we publish, whether on paper or on a screen, reflect the reality of what a photographer saw through his or her viewfinder. At National Geographic, where visual storytelling is part of our DNA, making sure you see real images is just as important as making sure you read true words.
I’ll explain how we strive to keep covertly manipulated images out of our publications—but first an admission about a time when we didn’t. Longtime readers may remember.
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