Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Potato Pictures

In the news, lately, we find Kevin Abosch, some sort of portrait photographer to the stars, claiming to have sold a print of a potato to an anonymous collector for $1,000,000 or so. There's some words wrapped around this that make it pretty obviously a joke.

Peter Lik "sold" a photo a while back for some number of millions to another anonymous collector.

We are expected to believe this stories, apparently. They're both patently absurd, to be blunt. A facet that I have not seen discussed follows here.

A good portion of the credibility to these stories comes from the fact that other large prints have indeed sold for multiple millions of dollars. The narrative is that Gursky and Sherman have sold pictures for millions, why not Lik? Why not Abosch?

The problem is that this narrative is untrue. Gursky and Sherman did no such thing. They sold prints, through representation, for much smaller amounts. These prints then travelled about, being bought and sold by various collectors. Many of Sherman's prints did not experience gradual price rises to stratospheric heights, but some did. After several years of this activity, in which various works are bought, sold, priced, examined, judged, and considered, the prices have risen on a very small number of them to one astronomical figure or another. In order to command a price of $2,000,000 a piece, generally, has to have already changed hands for $1,000,000, and so on.

Neither of the prints referred to at the beginning here have gone through this process. Both sales are claimed to be primary market sales, as opposed to secondary and things are quite different in the former. For one thing, prices are much lower. So, the fact that some picture sell for millions is in no way evidence of reasonableness in these fake stories put out by the aforementioned scammers. Those sales are almost certainly fake.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently commenting is addictive.

    We live in a world where people buy a thing called "truck nuts". I wouldn't discount the possibility someone spent $1 million for this picture. People waste money in worse ways every single day, IMHO.