Tag Archives: Andreas Gursky

The Bowels of the Bourgeoisie

There is a neat little “game” going around FB at the moment. Under the header of “Filling Facebook with Art!”, people are encouraged to post an image from the oeuvre of a given artist:


If you *like* this image I’ll give you the name of an artist for you to google and post a work that grabs you. You post a similar status with the picture and get to recommend artists to your friends. It just keeps going like that..

It is a commendable idea – getting away from the shite trivia and instead focussing on something worth-while. I could not resist taking part, and my partner in crime sent me the name of German photographer Andreas Gursky.

Instant response. I know Gursky. Well, I know his *work*. Famed LF photographer, one of Hilla and Bernd Becher’s pupils, he is particularly well-known for having the dubitable reputation of having sold the most expensive photograph. His colour photograph “Rhein II” was sold for 3.1 million Euro in 2011. Instead of publishing that particular image (which I am not so enamoured with) for my FB art game, I settled on another image,  “Shanghai 2000“. It’s a typical Gursky creation – all lines and symmetry and repetition. Abstract and still realistic. The reason I chose it, however, was that I actually know the place he photographed. Yes, this time I *know* – I have been there myself and I have photographed it myself.

Hyatt Shanghai crop

Hyatt Shanghai by me

This is a slightly different perspective – but unmistakably the same hotel. It is the Hyatt Hotel in Shanghai, situated in the top 38 storeys of the Hyatt JinMao. While Gursky set up his LF camera somewhere between floor 53 and 87 of the Hyatt, mere plebs like myself was obviously not given access to the plush interior of the luxury hotel… My image was taken from the observation deck of the JinMao tower which includes a handy window down into the bowels of the bourgeoisie interior of the hotel. Nauseating. One way or another *sour socialist grin*. Well, it makes for an interesting photographic vista, I’ll give it that.

But hey, I revel in the great feeling of thinking that I took a similar picture as Gursky. Well, sort of. Mind you, noone is gonna pay 3 million Euro for *that*. The memory is priceless, though!