What Are Peter Lik Style Prints?
In reality, there is simply no such thing as Peter Lik Style Prints. There are acrylic face-mounted photography prints, produced by thousands of photographers around the world and there are acrylic face-mounted photography prints produced by artist Peter Lik. These truths are separate from each other, as one style does not belong to the other.
While the Acrylic print style is not exclusive to him, Peter Lik does in fact have a visual photography style, that I would describe as vibrant and colorful, often produced in a vertical or horizontal panoramic format. Lik also uses a style of photography print production called Acrylic Face Mounting for the majority of his work.
Who Is Peter Lik?
Some of you may be wondering....well who is Peter Lik anyway?
Peter Lik® (born 1959) is a photographer from Australia, best known for his nature and panoramic landscape images. With 11 photography galleries currently operating across the US, many in high traffic vacation destinations, Lik has enjoyed a great deal of success in the world of fine art photography. The print style he uses for his work is commonly known as an acrylic face mount print.
Acrylic glass photography prints have been produced by photographers and utilized as the go to printing method for high end photography galleries around the world for many years now. So what exactly are people trying to describe when using this phrase?
So What Does Peter Lik Style Even Mean?
Lee Morris, a fellow photographer from FStoppers, was probably the first to use it online while writing about a method of displaying large photography prints back in 2011. Various photography print shops have used this phrase to describe the products they offer to photographers looking to print their own work. Fine Art Photography collectors have used the phrase when trying to describe the visual appearance of acrylic face mounted prints, a look that they don't quite understand and aren't sure how to put into words. Various e-commerce platforms like Ebay, Fine Art America and Etsy have also used the phrase to describe acrylic photography prints from a wide range of artists. In all of these examples, the phrase is being used to describe large acrylic photography prints in general, not specifically from any one artist.
Peter LIk USA has started using the phrase themselves, to describe Lik's own work on his website, which seems a bit strange to me personally. If we were discussing Nike sneakers, instead of photography prints, would Nike ever describe their own shoes as Nike Style Shoes? In fact, "style of" typically refers to something other than the named product. Maybe I'm missing something.This article is my own personal commentary, made in an effort to educate the general public about a descriptive term that has been widely, yet inaccurately used online for over a decade now, as well as Peter Lik's influence on landscape photography as well as collectors who buy acrylic face mounted photography prints.
The Infamous Peter Lik Phantom Sale
In December 2014, “Phantom" a monochrome version of a previously released photography print titled "Ghost" by photographer Peter Lik was thrust into the spotlight by claiming to be the most expensive photograph of all time. This anonymous art sale was for a reported 6.5 Million dollars, shattering the previous record held by Andreas Gursky's Rhein II after it sold for $4,338,500 via the auction house Christie's in November 2011. Lik's claim has been greeted with much skepticism, however the staggering amount of press he received from the reported sale still reverberates today, even though it is officially not the most expensive photo of all time. It this list of the top 30 photographs ever sold, Peter Lik only graces the bottom of the list as a disputed sale.
The Peter Lik Tree
In 2011, an image of a Japanese maple tree, located in Portland, Oregon titled The Tree of Life by photographer Peter Lik, was awarded 1st place in a photography contest called the Windland Smith Rice International Awards and was on exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C from April - September of 2012. Having been born and raised in Portland, this is a tree I have been photographing since 2007, before Peter Lik ever photographed it. Due to the showing at the Smithsonian, the Tree of Life became a very popular image for Peter Lik. Many of my images of this tree have gone on to be wildly successful as well. People really do love Portland's Japanese Maple but despite what Lik's gallery might tell you, it doesn't grow in a secret garden protected by gnomes and it isn't the Peter Lik Tree.
Other Famous Photographs By Peter Lik
Peter Lik has a number of famous pieces that have helped to define his career. Here is a list of a small number of them by name.
1. Phantom: A photograph of a shaft of light and falling sand inside upper Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona.
2. Tree of Life: A photograph of a Japanese Lace Leaf Maple tree located in the Portland Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon.
3. Sacred Sunrise: A photograph of the rising sun illuminating the underside of a stone arch in Canyonlands National Park.
4. Endless Summer: A photograph of a sky full of clouds and the pacific ocean through Scripps Pier in La Jolla, California.
5. Spirit of The Universe: A composite photograph of a sky full of stars and sunset light over a lone tree and a field of lavender.
6. Ghost: A photograph of Antelope Canyon located in Page, Arizona.
7. One: An abstract photograph of trees reflected in a body of water.
What Type of Photography Does Peter Lik Do?
Peter Lik is primarely a landscape photographer, famous for his vibrant style nature photography prints seen in his galleries throughout major cities across the US. Lik also has a large portfolio of airplane and aviation photography as well as wildlife photography.
Peter Lik For Sale | Peter Lik Galleries
In 1997, Lik opened his first gallery, in Cairns, Australia. He opened his first US gallery in Lahaina, Hawaii, in 2003, and his first in Las Vegas in Caesars Palace in 2005. Peter Lik Fine Art Photography opened in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan in November 2008, as part of the hotel's new high-end retail concourse. He went on to open another Manhattan gallery, in the SoHo neighborhood. Overall, he has four galleries in Las Vegas and nine others across the US.
At the time of this writing, photographer Peter Lik operates 10 fine art photography galleries across the US.
Lik Fine Art Gallery - Aspen, Colorado
Lik Fine Art Gallery - Caesars, Las Vegas, Nevada
Lik Fine Art Gallery - The Forum, Las Vegas, Nevada
Lik Fine Art Gallery - Key West, Florida
Lik Fine Art Gallery - Lahaina, Maui (indefinitely closed)
On August 8th, 2023 and into August 9th, a devastating wildfire ripped across Maui and was especially damaging in the historic town of Lahaina. The Peter Lik Fine Art Gallery, along with 18 eighteen other photography and art galleries in Lahaina were destroyed by this apocalyptic event.
Lik Fine Art Gallery - La Jolla, California
Lik Fine Art Gallery - Madison Avenue, New York, New York
Lik Fine Art Gallery - Mandalay, Las Vegas, Nevada
Lik Fine Art Gallery - Miami, Florida
Lik Fine Art Gallery - Soho, New York, New York
Lik Fine Art Gallery - The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nevada
Backlit or Illuminated Photography Prints
Often times photography collectors refer to a "backlit" or "illuminated" look when describing acrylic face mount prints. The three-dimensional, illuminated, or backlit visual appearance of acrylic photography prints is achieved through the print process itself. This visual appearance is then amplified by showcasing the work under high quality halogen lighting in a dim art gallery environment or utilizing high quality external lighting sources in your home. They do not have an internal light source of any kind.
Nothing about this printing method was invented by photographer Peter Lik. Tourists may recognize this print medium after visiting one of the many photography galleries on the Las Vegas Strip, or any number of countless art and photography galleries across the US and around the globe.
I have utilized these same printing methods for over a decade, offering the finest limited edition photography prints available today. Even in natural lighting environments the beauty of artwork that has been masterfully produced this way has a stunning and dynamic effect. Replicating the lighting in your home or office to emulate a fine art gallery presentation will multiply the beauty of the work ten fold.
Top Secret Photography Printing
As a consumer, you have many alternatives in the world of fine art photography, each with their own artistic style and unique body of work. There are no exclusive processes, mystery materials or magic production secrets in the world of photography printing. All photographers have access to the same photographic printing materials and methods. There are various formulas of acrylic, with non glare and scratch resistant TruLife® being the highest quality in my opinion. There are various brands of adhesive you can use when laminating the photograph. You have a choice in photographic papers, none of which are proprietary and a choice of substrates that provide rigidity when mounting.
I have heard all kinds of hilarious claims over the years, from Lik printing with a photographic paper that is exclusive to him, custom made by Fuji, to my favorite one of all, that the Portland Japanese Maple Tree, visited by millions of people every year, grows in a mysterious secret garden. I bet there are even unicorns dancing under its branches, with golden horns casting rainbows into the sky.
Silly statements like these are nothing more than an attempt to make buyers feel like they are part of an exclusive club that only the savviest, wealthiest and most special people get to be part of. I personally think you are smarter than that. So is it the photography paper itself?
What Kind of Paper Does Peter Lik Print On?
Peter Lik mentions on his website that he uses silver halide material for his Limited Edition images. Historically, this has been known as FujiFlex. Fuji Crystal Archive Silver Halide is a fine art photographic paper with a white polyester base providing unmatched levels of surface gloss, sharpness and color depth.
Produced by Fujifilm, this incredible silver halide photographic paper creates a visual depth and clarity that is particularly beautiful with rich, saturated imagery. As mentioned on his website, this paper is the medium of choice of Peter Lik and many other photographers around the world, producing some of the highest quality photographic prints available today.
What Is Fuji Crystal Silver Halide?
It all starts with photographic paper that has silver halide embedded inside. Unlike regular prints that may last a few years before eventually degrading, silver halide printing is a museum quality printing process that uses light-sensitive paper and the power and chemistry of silver. Once exposed to light, the paper infuses itself with the image via a powerful chemical process, giving you that signature look or style of print.
In fact, the silver halide process yields prints that are sharper, more vibrant, with increased dynamic range and better color and flesh tone reproduction than other types of printing processes. Typically, a photographic print is made by applying ink to paper and waiting for it to dry. However, applying ink can leave a fuzzy or hazy look to an otherwise sharp shot. Over time, the ink is also more likely to fade or to be damaged, leading to a lack of luster and vibrancy of the print.
So Is It The Art Or The Artist?
These type of prints are produced using photographic papers that utilize silver halide, such as FujiFlex, that have inherent reflective properties and are finished using a museum quality process called acrylic face mounting. While the look discussed here is mostly due to the print process and materials used themselves, individual colors, levels of contrast and overall luminescence of an image all play a role in how strong of an effect is achieved through this print method or style. Even in natural lighting environments the beauty of artwork that has been masterfully produced this way has a stunning and dynamic effect. Replicating the lighting in your home or office to emulate a fine art gallery presentation will multiply the beauty of the work ten fold. As an artist, you can utilize these same printing methods.
What Are Acrylic Face Mounted Prints?
Face mounting is a print finishing process that involves taking a traditional photographic print and applying an optically clear adhesive to the face of the print to then adhere (back mount) the print to acrylic glass. Once this process is completed, a backing material like Dibond or a second sheet of acrylic is adhered to the backside of the print to offer protection and provide stability to the artwork. Finally, the completed piece is either framed externally or finished with a float mount that allows the print to hang frameless on the wall appearing to float in place. This type of finishing process does not require external framing of any kind and provides a clean and modern appearance when displayed. The example below shows the anatomy and materials used with the acrylic face mounting process.
How Much Is A Peter Lik Print?
Today you can find pricing for much of Lik's newest work online on his website. According to interview and subsequent article written by the New York Times, pricing typically starts between $4000 - $5500. When 95 percent of an image has sold it becomes “Premium Peter Lik” and the price jumps to $17,500. At 98 percent, it’s “Second Level Premium Peter Lik” and leaps to $35,000. And when the image gets down to its last handful, the prices can go as high as $200,000 or more.
What Is The World's Most Expensive Photo?
On May 15th, 2022, this disputed record was smashed when Man Ray's famed "Le Violon d'Ingres" made history Saturday when it became the most expensive photograph ever to sell at auction. The black and white image, taken in 1924 by the American surrealist artist, transforms a woman's naked body into a violin by overlaying the picture of her back with f-holes. The original print of the masterpiece, widely considered to be Man Ray's most famous work, sold for $12.4 million, smashing sale estimates. Prior to the sale, it was expected to fetch between $5-7 million, the highest estimate for a single photograph in auction history, according to Christie's, which sold the work.
Las Vegas Art & Photography Galleries
The vast majority of my photographic fine art prints are produced in Las Vegas and have been for over 10 years now. Las Vegas is an artistic wonderland full of beautiful photography galleries and fine art. There are many galleries there, with some of the very best located along the Las Vegas Strip. If you find yourself in Las Vegas you should find time in your schedule to visit some of these world class art galleries! Here are a few of the other places where you can find photography galleries on the Las Vegas strip.
Venetian Photography & Art Galleries - Grand Canal Shoppes Las Vegas
Art Galleries located in the Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes include Peter Lik USA, the Animazing Gallery, Kalifano, Regis Galerie and Wyland Signature Galleries.
Caesars Palace Fine Art & Photography Galleries - Forum Shops Las Vegas
Caesars Palace Art Galleries in Las Vegas include the Park West Gallery, Martin Lawrence Galleries and the Carnevale Gallery.
Is Fine Art Photography Valuable?
This is a question you are going to need to answer for yourself, because value can be determined a number of different ways. If your idea of value comes from the satisfaction and beauty on your walls, I have no doubt you will find the value you are looking for. To determine monetary value or investment value, I would encourage you to research auction sites online, such as 1stdibs or Artbrokerage, where you can find actual prices artwork is selling for and has sold for in the past.
The Most Beautiful Prints In The World
Acrylic Face Mounted prints are my suggested print medium of choice for a number of reasons, the first and most important of these being the image quality and overall visual presentation of the work. As described above, dynamic images produced as gallery quality acrylic face mounted prints, when produced by a master printer using the finest materials available today are without equal.
I direct hundreds of these pieces to be produced on my behalf for collectors of my work each year with staggering results. The detail, contrast, color and luminosity of these prints is spectacular and the way the images appear to grow brighter & richer depending on the quality of light falling on them is nothing short of exquisite. While the cost of these pieces keep some potential customers from owning this type of art, those who are fortunate enough to treat themselves are never disappointed in having made this decision.
Non Affiliation Disclaimer
Aaron Reed Photography, LLC is an independent business. Aaron Reed & The Luxury Fine Art website is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with any other company, agency or government agency. All product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. The use of any trade name or trademark is for identification and reference purposes only and does not imply any association with the trademark holder of their product brand(s). All photographs found on this website are owned and copyrighted by Aaron Reed Photography, LLC.