[News] A Single Roll's Worth of Prints Sells For $5,903,250

[News] A Single Roll's Worth of Prints Sells For $5,903,250

On March 12th 2012, 36 recent prints by photographer William Eggleston sold for $5,903,250 at a Christie's auction. That's equivalent to one roll of film!

This was the first time Eggleston created digital pigment prints, as opposed to his usual dye-transfer process that he's used since the 1970s. The highest selling print , "Untitled, 1970", which depicts a child’s tricycle brought in $578,500.



$386,500 for “Untitled, 1971-1974,” more that tripled the $120,000 high estimate.
 

$422,500 for “Untitled, 1973,” the second-highest price at the March 12 auction nearly tripled the $150,000 high estimate.
 

$578,500 for "Untitled, 1970," the first edition of two 44 x 60-inch pigment prints of this iconic Eggleston photograph.

 
via [PDN]
 
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25 Comments

Lee Morris's picture

I must be doing something wrong....

Crazy, it's all in a name.

lee's picture

i don't think you are doing something wrong, Lee, you were born in the wrong era.  For all those critics who say his stuff is crap, iPhone snap shots, etc, the prices of these pieces are because of the artist's reputation. Possibly like picasso or lichenstien or worhol, he introduced something new? (anyone now can easily do a lichen stein or worhol)
  He has been displayed in dozens of museums and published many times, etc...  made color photography "artistic" when it wasn't a popular form of art.    when someone from today can approach his body of work, then maybe when they are 72 years old, their art may fetch crazy sums of money...  but in the meantime, create something new and truly unique, then maybe one can sell their creations at huge crazy sums of money....

well, does the name Andreas Gursky mean anything to you? :) His photography was sold for 4 million dollars and that artist is still alive.

So it's not about when... it about how and why. What means that Lee is doing something wrong:)

*scratches head* 

Bob Best's picture

I understand that "good" art is subjective. But really?

A workmate just saw this over my shoulder and suggested " ...that it's famous for being famous - you know, like that Paris Hilton girl."

 I looked through his collections, and most of them look like snapshots from an iPhone with an overdone saturation filter.

I can appreciate that huge landscape picture months back that sold for a bucket of money, but these pics don't have that "fine art" character to them to justify the price.

And......

That Coca Cola picture looks like something.......gulp.....Ken Rockwell would have taken.

loool that was my thought too.

"
As Eudora Welty noted in her introduction to The Democratic Forest, an Eggleston photograph might include "old tyres, Dr Pepper machines, discarded air-conditioners .... "

*facepalm*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Eggleston 

james taylor's picture

Eggleston is the king!

I used to work in print setup with a man that set-up album covers in the 90's. One day I asked him did you do the primal scream cover with the neon flag? "yeah that was one of mine". I asked what happened to all slides and lay downs? "O they went in the bin." I then explain that he had most likely thrown away his pension. He also did all the early the oasis albums and singles. Facepalm

I agree with all comments about "worth x doesn't worth".
But I learn some time ago (about "ART") when I made a very harsh critic for another form of art and a person explained me in a way I'll try to "convert" here for Mr. Eggleston work:

Imagine (as said by someone above) there was NO iPhone like nowadays.
Actually, remember that TELEPHONES were made to have conversation, not take pictures.
And not used to carry with you but stay at home until you move.
NOW, imagine tons of people IN AMERICA had access to cameras ... 35mm, Polaroids, etc.
And this same people had to "load ... take pictures ... unload ... send to the laboratory ... wait a week or so and (now it's the "thing") choose the best ones and discard the others, and those were usually EXACTLY ONES Mr. Eggleston wanted to keep.

Nowadays, if you see some B'52 hairs party shots, you will say: well ... funny, but my grandma has the same images at her house ... yours probably also has something identical. 
But what "nanas" don't have is exactly what they throw out and the auctions are reaching those prices ... because they are RARE, and you can't REPRODUCE them anymore ... not REALISTIC (using PS, CGI, etc) but because you can't go back on the past and capture THAT moment anymore.

Britnney's (and several others) showing their underskirts are nowadays ridiculous trashy products that don't even call males (and several females, why not?) THAT attention anymore.
But at the time Marilyn was filming THAT movie and show her HUGE UNDIES, became a hit, every boy's dream that even the most popular boudoir photographer still have a desire to create something like that: atemporal. 

Yes, I agree ... the prices reached are RIDICULOUS. 
Mostly because even ME or YOU could say: I CAN DO IT! Easily!
But WE DIDN'T. HE DID. HE HAD the idea ... and he DID NOT HAVE an iPhone. 
And whatever we try now, won't be the first one anymore.
"Nothing new under the sun" ... is that truth??????????

Oy...  Now I need a stiff drink.

wtf?
im lost for words.. and the comment 2 above that most people didn't have cameras in the 70's is bs and if that was true all you are comparing his work to is that of someone who had an iphone in the 70's to which i would agree the above pictures look like!

Find it amusing they're all "Untitled."

You want a title? That'l cost you extra. ;-)

Marko Einfalt's picture

Best comment :D:D

hahahaha Tim!!!

Duck tape wont hold my mouth shut!!!!

So my wife just bought 60" TV. It has a USB port. So I put up our vacation photos from Monument Valley I took 3 years ago. After a seeing a couple of them - damn I took some nice and artsy shots!!! Its all about the size, you take an empty road going nowhere, put it up on a huge canvas and all of a sudden it can be auctioned off for thousands.

I just feel this is a kick in the crotch to any photographer anywhere who is doing something new, different, unique, stand out and stand alone and is appreciated by a very few people, and is unable to have the price of a happy meal from sales. (most probably family and friends and the crowd on the internet) 
Disgusted that kak like this attains such an unbelievable monetary value and exposure.
*walks away throwing up*

Joseph Figaniak's picture

This is bullcrap. Eff this noise.

william eggleston is my all-time fav!!! gearheads and pseudo arty folk never seem to understand, or even try to comprehend what eggleston has done. hint: wikipedia does not do this man justice!

...... but...... why?  I know there is probably a reason why people would pay for this. But that much money?
Wonder if the guy who bought it woke up the next morning and went "urghhh, what did i do last night"  looked at his cheque book, and then at the wall above his mantlepiece and went "Ohhhh, you effin kidding me?  I bought a goddamn childs photo of his bike... better have been for charity, there goes that fleet of Ferraris i wanted".