Andreas Gursky’s “Rhein II” was sold for $ 4.3 million at an auction in 2011. But what makes this photograph so valuable?


The German photographer, Andreas Gursky, has been interested in the conditions of contemporary life since the 1990s and has found ways to visualize the objects in this life using equally modern methods.

Andreas Gursky can be described as an extraordinary photographer who works in the age of globalization. With his camera, he discovers various regions of our globalized world, makes connections between these regions and questions the role given to the individual in a world where economic-cultural integration is taking place.

The series of panoramic views of the River Rhine, including this photo, consists of 6 photographs. 4 photographs of the series are exhibited in significant museums.

At first glance, we can say that this three-meter-wide print has an indefinite simplicity. This photograph, which shows the real with a surreal understanding, is perhaps a romantic expression of the desire to approach the truth as much as possible on chromogenic paper.

I recommend watching this video about the place where the photo has been taken.

Looking back at Gursky’s other works, we notice his obsession with the real thing over and over again.

“Amazon” by Gursky

This is Amazon warehouse in Phoenix Arizona where he took several different photographs of horizontal bands in order to make each area completely in focus. So there is a supernatural kind of clarity to it, but at the same time, he’s just showing what is actually there.

“Paris, Montparnasse” by Gursky

In this photo, Gursky put his camera across the street at two different locations so he was able to picture every window at the same size with no distortion.

The paradox here is that when nature is combined with the human factor, the mega-symbol grows into a complex structure full of micro-details.

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