So six months ago, he had an idea. Nearly every Peter Lik photograph is printed in a “limited edition” of 995; the first print sells at about $4,000, with the price rising as the edition sells out. With his eye fixed on a record-setting sale, he printed a single copy of “Phantom.” Then he alerted a handful of his most ardent collectors, one of whom, he said, agreed to the $6.5 million price. Before the deal was signed, Mr. Lik hired a public relations firm to make sure that the sale, and the record, were noticed.
“The P.R. firm dropped those off yesterday,” said Mr. Lik, looking at four fat ring binders, which an associate had just plopped on a table. They contain hundreds of stories from around the world about the “Phantom” sale. Typical was the reaction of Time magazine, which published the headline, “This is officially the most expensive photo ever.”
It’s hard to know what’s “official” about it. Previous records in photography were set by competing bidders in public auctions for images that were familiar and celebrated. This was a private sale for a newly printed photograph, and scant details were offered. But while the buyer’s hidden identity inevitably arched some eyebrows, anonymity in such deals is not unusual. Joshua Roth, the Los Angeles lawyer who represented the buyer, declined to name his client, though he emphasized that the client exists.
Despite the reported size of the deal, the art world greeted the news mostly with silence.Read the NYT article here...