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The 7 Most Expensive Photographs Ever Sold

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Most of us are wondering how to sell our images. And then we stumble across the 7 most expensive photographs ever sold.
Let’s have a look at these 7 most expensive photos.

7. 99 Cent II Diptychon

Andreas Gursky – 2001
Below is the chromogenic colour print that was sold at Sotheby’s London in February 2007.
What did it fetch? An astounding $3,346,456.
Surely it should have ended in .99 cents.
99 Cent II Diptychon, chromogenic colour print by Andreas Gursky

6. Dead Troops Talk

Jeff Wall – 1992
Here is the image in question, sold as a transparency in lightbox. This went on sale at Christie’s New York in May 2012.
It made a cool $3,666,500. Go Jeff!
Dead Troops Talk photo by Jeff Wall - one of the most expensive photography ever sold in 1992

5. To Her Majesty

Gilbert & George –  1973
These photographic provocateurs created this installation as a Gelatin Silver print. It went under the hammer at Christie’s London in June 2008.
It made $3,765,276 ($4,971,030.33 in today’s money).
To Her Majesty, one of the worlds most expensive photographs ever sold by Gilbert & George -  1973

4. Untitled 96

Cindy Sherman – 1981
Cindy Sherman is no stranger to expensive prints. This one netted her a welcomed $3,890,500 when it was sold Christie’s New York in May 2011.
The image was presented as a Chromogenic colour print.
An untitled self portrait by Cindy Sherman - most expensive photograph

3. Spiritual America

Richard Prince – 1981
Ektacolor print. Sold at Christie’s New York in May 2014: $3,973,000
Note: This image features an undressed Brooke Shields as a child. We aren’t showing it here, so if you wish to see the photograph, you must follow this link to Christie’s website.

2. Rhein II

Andreas Gursky –  1999
Another chromogenic colour print, but this time, costing an individual $4,338,500. The image shows the Lower Rhine river.
Sold at Christie’s New York in November 2011, it was the held the world record for most expensive print ever sold until 2014.
Rhein II by Andreas Gursky -  most expensive photographs ever sold

1. Phantom

Peter Lik – 2014
This image is a black and white print of the famous Antelope Canyon in Arizona, USA.
It is unverified, as the buyer is ‘private and anonymous’. Its place as the most expensive photo in the world is still the source of heated debates.
Phantom by Peter Lik - an image is a black and white print of the famous Antelope Canyon in Arizona, USA, one of the most expensive photography ever sold
You may be tempted to think that Jeff Frost inched past Australian photographer Peter Lik by selling his image for $6.5 Million and ten cents.
Judging by his chosen counsel, it is nothing more than a prank.
The last thing I’m going to say is this: don’t be disheartened.
Yes, the images are quite interesting, but who on earth decides on these prices? Well, we do, and when I say we, I mean people.
Most of these, except for the number one spot, where sold at auction. Five out of the six were from Christie’s, leaving number 7 to Sotheby’s.
What this means is the artists don’t think they are worth this much. The people with the deep pockets decided that is how much the image is worth to them.
Maybe one day we’ll have a shot at the big time. In the meantime, we have advice on selling images here.

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