Peter Lik Phantom | The Most Expensive Photo Of All Time?

The Most Expensive Photos Of All Time

 The seven photographs listed below are the reported highest grossing photographs ever sold as of 2019. Five of them were sold at auction by Christie's, one by Sotheby's and the most expensive one....anonymously? Hmmm. Please have a look at the details below listing the artists, the titles of each artwork and the final auction prices as reported. 

#1. Peter Lik | Phantom | Sold for $6.5 Million To An Anonymous Bidder December 2014

This black and white photograph of upper Antelope Canyon in Arizona shows a shaft of light and falling sand inside the underground slot canyon. An iconic place with many photographers and one I have photographed myself many times. While some controversy swirls around the sale of this photograph and its anonymous nature, it has still been widely recognized as the worlds most expensive photograph even though disputed by many. 

How Much Are Other Peter Lik Photos?

Cited by the ArtNet News, Initially offered at $4,000, a photo's sticker-cost rises steadily as the supply shrinks. An image that is 95 percent sold-out becomes “Premium Peter Lik” for $17,500, and the price only further skyrockets as those final pictures find buyers.

The Rest Of The List

#2. Andreas Gurksy | Rhein II | Sold for $4,338,500 via Christie's New York in November 2011

Rhein II is a photograph made by German visual artist Andreas Gursky in 1999. In the image, a river (the Lower Rhine) flows horizontally across the field of view, between flat green fields, under an overcast sky. Extraneous details such as dog walkers and a factory building were removed by the artist using digital editing.

#3. Richard Prince | Spiritual America | Sold for $3,973,000 via Christie's New York in May 2014

Richard Prince (born 1949) is an American painter and photographer. In the mid-1970s, Prince made drawings and painterly collages that he has since disowned. He began copying other photographers' work in 1977. His image, Untitled (Cowboy), a rephotographing of a photograph by Sam Abell and appropriated from a cigarette advertisement, was the first rephotograph to be sold for more than $1 million at auction at Christie's New York in 2005. He is regarded as "one of the most revered artists of his generation" according to the New York Times.

#4. Cindy Sherman | Untitled 96 | Sold for $3,890,500 via Christie's New York in May 2011

Untitled #96 is a photograph made by American visual artist Cindy Sherman in 1981. It is known as part of her Centerfold series. In May 2011, a print was auctioned for US$3.89 million, the highest price paid for a photographic print at that time, though the price has since been surpassed.

#5. Gilbert & George | To Her Majesty | Sold for $3,765,276 via Christie's London in June 2008

Gilbert Prousch, sometimes referred to as Gilbert Proesch (born 17 September 1943 in San Martin de Tor, Italy), and George Passmore (born 8 January 1942 in Plymouth, United Kingdom), are two artists who work together as the collaborative art duo Gilbert & George. They are known for their distinctive and highly formal appearance and manner in performance art, and also for their brightly coloured graphic-style photo-based artworks.

#6. Jeff Wall | Dead Troops Talk | Sold for $3,666,500 via Christie's New York in May 2012

Jeffrey Wall, OC, RSA (born September 29, 1946) is a Canadian artist best known for his large-scale back-lit cibachrome photographs and art history writing. Wall has been a key figure in Vancouver's art scene since the early-1970s. Early in his career, he helped define the Vancouver School and he has published essays on the work of his colleagues and fellow Vancouverites Rodney Graham, Ken Lum, and Ian Wallace. His photographic tableaux often take Vancouver's mixture of natural beauty, urban decay and postmodern and industrial featurelessness as their backdrop.

#7. Andreas Gursky | 7.99 Cent II Diptychon | Sold for $3,346,456 via Sotheby's London in February 2007

The artwork 99 Cent II Diptychon from 2001 is a two-part photograph made by Andreas Gursky probably in 1999, as the work is sometimes called "99 cent.1999".

The work depicts an interior of a supermarket with numerous aisles depicting goods resulting in a colorful work. The work is digitally altered to reduce perspective. The photograph is a chromogenic color print or c-print. It is a two-part work, also called a diptych. There were 6 sets made and mounted on acrylic glass. The photographs have a size of 2.07 by 3.37 metres (6.8 ft × 11.1 ft).

Luxury Fine Art | Aaron Reed Photography

As you can see, photography does have its place in the collectable art world. As artists, it is our collectors themselves who determine value and we price our work accordingly. As a widely collected artist myself, although nowhere near the realm of these artworks here in terms of cost, I would argue that I provide a much greater value for my customers. Since 2014, I have sold thousands of large format, gallery quality fine art prints to collectors around the world. My first edition of 200 sold out in 2016 and close to ten other pieces are well on their way. I only produce 1 Artist Proof per print and have very limited editions of just 50 for the majority of my work.

To see my available limited edition works, please enjoy the photographs below and feel free to look around my online galleries. You may just find a work of art to fall in love with that one day may fall somewhere on this list. :) 


A Beautiful Sunrise Scripps Pier La Jolla. , photo

Out To Sea Panoramic

Fine Art Limited Edition of 100

Year Built: 1987-1988
Architect: Ferver Engineering
Construction firm: Kiewit Pacific Company

Namesake: Named for Ellen Browning Scripps (1836-1932), the most significant donor to the institution in its formative years. Born in London, Ellen emigrated to the United States with her father in 1844, and grew up on a farm in Illinois. She attended Knox College in Illinois. In 1866, she joined her brother James in his newspaper business, and later she worked with her younger half-brother E.W. Scripps in his newspaper business. E.W. settled in the San Diego area about 1890, and Ellen built a house in La Jolla soon after that.

Never married, and wealthy from funds derived from the family newspaper businesses and from inheritance from another brother George, she became a major benefactor in La Jolla and elsewhere. In its earliest years, Ellen provided generous funds for the Marine Biological Association, served on its board, and gave it a large endowment. An unassuming person, she preferred that the institution be named for her brother George, but the University of California chose the overall Scripps surname in 1912. Finally, in 1988, the pier was named for this remarkable woman.

History: The original Scripps Pier, built in 1915-1916, was a 1,000-foot-long facility for acquiring clean seawater for the campus laboratories and the public aquarium. Ellen Browning Scripps provided all of the money ($36,000) for its construction. That structure—well built for its day, with reinforced concrete and wooden pilings and a wooden deck—survived many years and storms, but extensive repairs were made to it in 1926 and 1946.

Major concerns about the soundness of the old pier finally led to its total replacement. The modern pier, which is 1,090 feet long, was built of reinforced concrete alongside the original pier, which was then removed.

Limited Edition Fine Art Print Of A Tree Tunnel In North Bend, Washington, photo

Tunnel Vision

Fine Art Limited Edition of 50 - Tunnel vision is the loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, resulting in a constricted circular tunnel-like field of vision.

Dream, Antelope, Canyon, Page, Arizona, photo


Fine Art Limited Edition of 50 - A dream is a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. The content and purpose of dreams are not fully understood, although they have been a topic of scientific, philosophical and religious interest throughout recorded history.

Fine Art, Limited Edition, Central Park, Trees, Spring, New York City, photo

Dreams Beneath These Leaves

Fine Art Limited Edition of 50 - Central Park is an urban park in ManhattanNew York CityU.S. state of New York. It comprises 843 acres (341 ha) between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, roughly bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east, Central Park West (Eighth Avenue) on the west, Central Park South (59th Street) on the south, and Central Park North (110th Street) on the north. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States, with 40 million visitors in 2013, and one of the most filmed locations in the world.

portland, Oregon, fine art, limited edition, dragons breath, Aaron Reed, Peter Lik Tree, Japanese Maple, Tree Of Life, , photo

Dragon's Breath - SOLD OUT

Dragon's Breath was first released in October 2013. This piece has now SOLD OUT all 200 of the pieces in the Limited Edition. The image has officially been retired.

There are two gallery holds that may be available by request. Inquire via direct message to discuss the opportunity to purchase one. 

 Acer palmatum, commonly known as palmate maple, Japanese maple or smooth Japanese-maple (Japanese: irohamomiji, イロハモミジ, or momiji, 紅葉), is a species of woody plant native to Japan, China, Korea, eastern Mongolia, and southeast Russia. Many different cultivars of this maple have been selected and they are grown worldwide for their large variety of attractive forms, leaf shapes, and spectacular colors.

Antelope Canyon, Vortex, Fine Art, photo

The Vortex

Fine Art Limited Edition of 50 - In fluid dynamics, a vortex (plural vortices/vortexes) is a region in a fluid in which the flow revolves around an axis line, which may be straight or curved. Vortices form in stirred fluids, and may be observed in smoke rings, whirlpools in the wake of a boat, and the winds surrounding a tropical cyclone, tornado or dust devil.

Vortices are a major component of turbulent flow. The distribution of velocity, vorticity (the curl of the flow velocity), as well as the concept of circulation are used to characterize vortices. In most vortices, the fluid flow velocity is greatest next to its axis and decreases in inverse proportion to the distance from the axis.

In the absence of external forces, viscous friction within the fluid tends to organize the flow into a collection of irrotational vortices, possibly superimposed to larger-scale flows, including larger-scale vortices. Once formed, vortices can move, stretch, twist, and interact in complex ways. A moving vortex carries with it some angular and linear momentum, energy, and mass.

Fine Art, Limited Edition, Heavens Gate, Portland, Oregon, Japanese Maple Tree, , photo

Heavens Gate

Fine Art Limited Edition of 100 - Heaven is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a Paradise, in contrast to hell or the Underworld or the "low places", and universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinitygoodnesspietyfaith, or other virtues or right beliefs or simply the will of God.

Iceland, Fine Art, Limited Edition, Abstract, photo


Fine Art Limited Edition of 50 - The Earth's internal heat comes from a combination of residual heat from planetary accretion, heat produced through radioactive decay, and possibly heat from other sources. The major heat-producing isotopes in the Earth are potassium-40uranium-238uranium-235, and thorium-232.[2] At the center of the planet, the temperature may be up to 7,000 K and the pressure could reach 360 GPa (3.6 million atm).[3] Because much of the heat is provided by radioactive decay, scientists believe that early in Earth history, before isotopes with short half-lives had been depleted, Earth's heat production would have been much higher.

fine art, limited edition, antelope, canyon, page, Arizona, slot canyon, upper antelope canyon, , photo


Fine Art Limited Edition of 100 - Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes. Rainwater, especially during monsoon season, runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways. Over time the passageways eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form characteristic "flowing" shapes in the rock.

Limited Edition Fine Art Photo of Aspen Trees with fall color, photo

Echoes Of Fall

Fine Art Limited Edition of 100 - Betula papyrifera (paper birch, also known as white birch and canoe birch) is a short lived species of birch native to northern North America. Paper birch is named due to the thin white bark which often peels in paper like layers from the trunk. Paper birch is often one of the first species to colonize a burned area within the northern latitudes and an important species for moose browse. The wood is often used for pulpwood and firewood.