If you thought spending money on painted firewood logs was ridiculous, you’re not going to be able to wrap your head around this: a man in Paris recently spent a whopping €1,000,000 (over $1 million) on a photograph of a potato, making it one of the top 20 most expensive photos ever sold!
To be fair, it wasn’t any ordinary potato portrait – it was clicked by Kevin Abosch, the hottest photographer in the world right now, according to Business Insider. His claim to fame includes photographing major Silicon Valley bigwigs like Sheryl Sandberg, Eric Schmidt, and Jack Dorsey. Some of his other famous subjects include Johnny Depp, Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Hopper, and Malala Yousafzai.
Irish-born Abosch is also apparently obsessed with potatoes – he’s taken tons of photographs of the starchy tuber set against his trademark black backdrop. “Kevin likes potatoes because they, like people, are all different yet immediately identifiable as being essentially of the same species,” his studio said in a statement. “He has photographed many potatoes. This is one of his favorites.”
Photo: Kevin Abosch
The portrait in question, a 162x162cm dibond mounted print titled ‘Potato #345 (2010)’, was hanging in his studio in Paris when it was spotted by one of his clients. “It’s not the first time that someone has bought the art right off my wall,” the 47-year-old told The Sunday Times. “We had two glasses of wine and he said, ‘I really like that.’ Two more glasses of wine and he said, ‘I really want that.’ We set the price two weeks later.”
The price turned out to be a non-negotiable €1,000,000, which the buyer immediately agreed to pay. The photograph is Abosch’s largest sale of a single image to date, considerably higher than the regular $150,000 fee that he usually commands for celebrity photo shoots. Commercial use of his work costs a lot more though, at $500,000 per picture. His photographs have appeared in various international magazine features and covers, including Vogue. According to a March 2008 issue of Vogue Italia, “Abosch knows the true face of a star.”
Kevin Abosch and his famous potato (Photo: Kevin Abosch)
Abosch agrees that the true value of his photography lies in his ability to completely humanize even the most famous faces. “I think when people look into an honest face, a demasked face, where the haze of reputation is removed, there is something very comforting,” he said. “Just in knowing that you are sharing the human experience.”
“You see both strength and vulnerability. The vulnerability doesn’t mean weakness and there’s something quite comfortable in knowing that,” he added.
Another potato by Kevin Abosch (Source: Behance Network)
Interestingly, self-taught Abosch doesn’t spend too long on each photo shoot, at times taking only two photographs before he’s done. To save time, he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, like starting the session with a simple question: “Which side of your face do you like better?” If they have a preference they’ll reply immediately, and if they aren’t sure, he knows the answer anyway. The side they part their hair on is apparently the side they like best!
via Business Insider