art value 10
6. Jahrgang 2012
Photography beyond the snapshot and bargains
For decades, the art market did not take great notice of photography. This has changed, thanks to digital techniques and the ability to print even large formats in high quality. Much more important for its entry into the major league of art, however, is more likely due to fact that a limited number of prints, i.e. five, are produced and exploited by market policy. The photograph has borrowed the operative principle of the unicum from or the traditional art market. One of the catalysts for this development was the Becher School. Firstly, the »Struffskys« – as its most prominent representatives are collectively called –- have perfected these mechanisms, and, secondly, they have established a unique photographic aesthetic.
The essays in this issue of art value portray not only the successive aesthetic ennoblement of photography to photographic art and the story of its success in the art market, but also the reciprocal influences between the two developments. They discuss what is meant by the term »vintage«; what factors fuel or destroy the value of a photograph and the role the digital revolution
plays here; and whether photographs should be restored or simply reprinted.
Photojournalist legend Robert Lebeck, with whom we discussed these issues, has always regarded himself as a journalist, not an artist. His photographs are, nevertheless, desirable collectors’ items. With equal amounts of modest and whimsy, in an interview with art value he confesses to having been partly responsible for the fact that aesthetic considerations now play a greater role in photojournalism as well.
Curator Hilar Stadler introduces the artist duo Tayio Onorato & Nico Krebs and describes them as basic researchers, who, with their refined experimental designs, repeatedly explore the nature and essence of photography.
I wish you a fruitful read.