The Most Expensive Photograph Ever Purchased

The Most Expensive Photograph Ever Purchased

Iconic photographer Cindy Sherman's 'Untitled #96' became the most expensive print ever purchased at a Christies auction last week.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 20 may 2011

Cindy Sherman’s ‘Untitled #96’ is one in a series of ten photographs originally commissioned, but never used, by Artforum magazine back in 1981. In this still, the artist took a photo of herself in dismay as a 30-something single woman sprawled out on a linoleum kitchen floor clutching a personal ad. Last week, Art dealer Philippe Segalot purchased Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled #96” for $3.89 million at a Christie’s auction in New York City. Sherman’s work has been critically acclaimed for questioning the role of women in society. Some argue the stills this photo-series call attention to the stereotyping of women in films, television and magazines.

New York Times Art Critic Grace Gluek describes the photo’s cultural significance:

In 1981 Cindy Sherman took off on men’s magazine centerfolds in a series of photographic double spreads initially commissioned — but not used by — the magazine Artforum. Close-cropped and close up, they portray this multi-self-portraitist in various roles, from a sultry seductress to a frightened, vulnerable victim.

The mood of each of these life-size storytelling pictures is charged, not only by Ms. Sherman’s poses, expressions, clothes and wigs but also by the use of gels that cast the images in colors appropriate to their narratives. A sort of kitschy orange suffuses ”Untitled No. 96,” in which Ms. Sherman lies dreamily on a linoleum floor in a sweater and skirt, a thirty-something single clutching a ”Personals” ad torn from a newspaper.

Cindy Sherman- ‘Centerfolds 1981’

[via BoingBoing]


DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Design & Architecture
Culture Yesterday

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Yesterday

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Syndicated Yesterday

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Yesterday

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Yesterday

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 28, 2016

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs september 29, 2016

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Yesterday

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Yesterday

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Yesterday

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Yesterday

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Mobile Yesterday

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Yesterday

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Yesterday

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.