The photo was taken by Australian-born photographer Peter Lik and sold in Las Vegas on the 9th December 2014 becoming the most expensive photograph in history at a record price of 6.5 million dollars (around 4.2 million pounds). Lik has lived in the United States since 1984 and is feted for his pictures of the American landscape.
In his own words he describes his work as about capturing the inspirational power of nature- “The purpose of all my photos is to capture the power of nature and convey it in a way that inspires someone to feel passionate and connected to the image.”
The black-and-white photo depicts a shaft of light beaming into a cavern in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon offering a haunting depiction of natural landscape that uses light to paint an ethereal almost unreal scene.
The sale, that was reportedly to a private, anonymous bidder, also included two of his other works – Illusion and Eternal Moods which sold for huge prices in their own right. The total value of the auction was over ten million dollars and means Lik’s photos now hold four of the top twenty places in the list of the most expensive photographs ever sold.
Because the sale was private there’s very little information about the buyer or the exact terms of the purchase, it was confirmed by the buyer’s legal representative Joshua Roth and announced by Lik’s PR team.
Most Expensive Photograph Sold at Auction
Rhein II is a photograph by German artist Andreas Gursky – it was sold via auction at Christie’s in New York for 4.3 million dollars in 2011, it shows the River Rhine flowing beneath a cloudy sky and is part of a larger body of work. It surpassed the auction of Untitled #96 a piece by American photographer Cindy Sherman that had sold for 3.89 million dollars earlier in the year.