Saturday, December 23, 2017

Top Twenty



My attention was arrested by an article listing the 20 most expensive photographs in history (link).  Holy smokes!  When I studied photography in college, my professor, Jerry Uelsmann, sold the most expensive prints in the world.  The cost was in the thousands of dollars, but you could get some for under a thousand.  These prices are. . . well, I wonder what Cindy Sherman or Andreas Gursky are doing?  Surely they got some of the money.

If you want to have a little fun, read the comments that follow the article.  People sure like to argue.  I guess, though, that social media platforms have made people feel as if they have a legitimate authority because their Facebook or Twitter pages looks just like Justin Bieber's or whoever.  They post things that are "out there" though they will only be read by thirty people.  Even my hillbilly relatives try to shame people on Facebook--for all the world to see.

I just need to sell one at those prices.  That is all.  One.  Take today's picture, a psychologically charged portrait of the celebration and attitudes surrounding Christmas, gender, and age.  You could slip this into a portfolio by Joel Meyerowitz and nobody would know it wasn't his.  But he didn't make it into the top twenty, either.

O.K.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe people would notice and ask, "How did this get here?"  But for this one, I did put the camera to my eye.

I think of all the photos that are not in the top twenty.  I think of all the photographers.  Cindy Sherman and Andreas Gursky, not _____________________  (fill in the blank)?

I got a new phone yesterday, the iPhone X.  It was a gift from my mother.  I wish I could be more excited about it.  To me, it is just a small computer that makes phone calls which nobody does any more.  I use it most for texting, I guess.  But it supposedly is a wonderful camera which I should like, and it has face detection.  All I have to do is hold it up to my face to turn it on.  Crazy.  I'm sure that my image is being sent somewhere each time I do it.  That's the world of photography now.  Perhaps there will be an exhibition of face detection images someday.  It could be interesting.

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