“Vision is an intelligent form of thought”- Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky is a German visual artist famous for showing the heart of our global, expensive, high-tech world: stock exchanges, hippodromes, supermarkets, parking garages, storehouses and museums from Hong Kong, Cairo, New York, Braslia, Tokyo, Stockholm, Chicago, Athens, Singapore, Paris and among other places.
Gursky is the son of a commercial photographer, but he received his main training and influence from his teachers in the Arts Academy of the city of Dsseldorf, including Hilla and Bernd Becher, best known for their extensive series of photographic images of industrial machinery and architecture, British urban landscape photographer John Davies and American fine-art color photographer Joel Sternfeld.
Starting from 1988, Gursky began increasing the size of his photographs, and only two years later he was using the largest size of photographic paper on the market. In the early 1990s he began to digitally manipulate his images, in order to create works which featured spaces larger than the real subjects photographed. Usually he moves the camera between shots (he places it high above, far away, on cranes, or even on helicopters) and then seamlessly splices the shots together.
Gursky’s first solo gallery exhibition took place in 1988 at Galerie Johnen & Schottle, Cologne. This was followed the next year by an exhibition at the Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld. A growing taste for photography in the international art market together with the evident talent of this unusual artist talent helped bring Gursky commercial success. In 2007 Sotheby’s auctioned Gursky`s artwork 99 Cent II Diptychon for the price of $3.34 million, which made it the most expensive photograph in the world (by a considerable margin, as the second most expensive print fetched $2.25 million, and the third was sold for $2.48 million).
Gursky directs our attention to the commercial global markets and globalization, but as opposed to many other contemporary artists his works are not impregnated with depression. Instead, they radiate optimism. Ships and cars in the foreground of the artwork of another artist might represent something like mechanization and the absence of real life in society, but in Andreas Gursky`s works such a meaning could only be one of the possible interpretations, and would not be likely to be the most important meaning at that.
It has been said that “his photographs-big, bold, rich in color and detail – constitute one of the most original achievements of the past decade and, for all the panache of his signature style, one of the most complex.. [In the 90’s].” The impeccable color balance of his photographs, together with distorted perspective and epic proportions, creates something chic, refined, refined and compact, like a contemporary/classical masterpiece that bears a relation to the Renaissance period.