The $6,500,000.00 Photo

Peter Lik just sold the most expensive photo of all time, “Phantom.” This prompted The Guardian’s art dude Jonathan Jones to rant: 

“Photography is not an art. It is a technology.”

“The fact that it is in black and white should give us pause. Today, this deliberate use of an outmoded style can only be nostalgic and affected, an ‘arty’ special effect.”

“Peter Lik’s hollow, cliched and tasteless black and white shot of an Arizona canyon isn’t art – and proves that photography never will be.”

I get the feeling from the stench of arrogance emanating from this article, this is link bait and the writer doesn’t fully believe what he’s writing. Or, he’s inexperienced. But just in case:

  1. Art’s monetary worth is whatever someone will pay for it.
  2. You don’t get to say what someone else should consider art. No one can.
  3. Black and white prints are loved by photo enthusiasts because they reveal more about pattern, texture and luminosity than color prints. It’s not a cheap trick. In fact, it can be far more difficult to edit in black and white.

The “Phantom” photo is not for me. I’m not a fan. But I say good for Peter. I hope his next big print sells for twice that amount.