The just-completed Contemporary sales totaled over $1 BILLION dollars in sales (with Andy Warhol accounting for over $200 million alone); the Impressionist/Modern sales about another half - BILLION; and almost as an afterthought a Qianlong-dynasty vase sold for $85.9 MILLION dollars.
The Fall photo auctions in New York brought in $16 million.
We are often asked, "what does the broader art market have to do with the photography market?". In our judgement, a lot. It wasn't long ago that the argument existed whether photography was "art" or not. At least we are beyond that phase!
Richard Prince’s “Marlboro Man" (Untitled, Cowboy), below, set a record for a photograph when it sold for $3,401,000 at Sotheby’s in New York in 2007. Prince’s “Cowboy” series consisted of old Marlboro cigarette print ads that he re-photographed. And the Marlboro man was based on a LIFE magazine cover of a photograph by Leonard McCombe of a real cowboy.
The $63.36 million realized on last Monday at Phillips, de Pury by Andy Warhol's “Men in Her Life?” was done in silk-screen technique: the dark black and white picture endlessly repeats a photographic image published in LIFE magazine on April 13, 1962.
The Wall Street Journal: The New Gold Standard: Will Pop's Current Dominance of the Art World Last?
Related: The Financial Times: This Bonhams sale shows that a six- or seven-figure budget is not necessary to secure a first-class image by a known name.