Tag Archives: Photography as Art

I’m One Happy Cowboy!

Cowboy Photography; laughing with his friends.

My piece went for $1900.00 at the auction last night.  I was utterly stunned when the piece came up for bid and so many of the bidding paddles hit the air.  I was not anticipating this what-so-ever.  The man who eventually bought it introduced himself to me right before the auction and we talked about the Rodeo and it turned out his wife was actually in the background of the image.  She said to me “That was such a cold day” and I laughed and said it certainly was.  We looked at the image and sure enough there she was in a winter coat.  I told them about my connection to Montana, being from here, and growing up at on the ranch west of Missoula.  He recognized that I was a part of the Cyr clan the other side of Alberton.  He said he was going to buy this piece and hang it at their cabin at Placid Lake.

I spent most of yesterday leading up the auction in a sort of state of limbo.  I am not the type of person who puts himself out there in the spotlight very often.  It’s one of the reasons I worked backstage in the theater.  I tend to think of myself more as a craftsman who is obsessed with the process of creation and never really need to take a bow.  So began to feel myself beginning to retreat from myself when I arrived.  Thank goodness I had two my best friends beside me to support me.  On average most of the pieces where going for what they were valued at through the beginning of the bidding up until my piece came up.  I had put a price on it of $850 and originally thought that was high for a piece of photographic art.  When the piece was held up there was a hush in the crowd and I remember thinking this isn’t good.  But then as the bidding began it seemed as if the entire room erupted with cheers.  I could not see who all the bidders were but then the prices kept climbing into a sort of frenzy, with what looked like many people in on the bidding process as I watched spellbound.  My heart was racing so fast and it was a thrill I would say was comparable to when I sky dived a couple of years back.  I was almost breathless when the auctioneer closed it and tears welled up in my eyes.

One of the things that startled me most was that I was a first time artist at the event.  I have not really sold much of my imagery, mostly because I didn’t know how.  It seems to be such an expensive endeavor to create works for charity events.  There was a very good showing of arts in so many different mediums, so many really stunning pieces, by so many artists I have admired and adored for decades now.  My piece was the 12th highest selling piece of the evening of 110 pieces at the show, certainly the highest photographic artwork.

Last year I was really questioning the value of photography as works of art.  Weather the format has become devalued because we live in the modern digital error were it seems accessible for everyone to shoot.  I talked to so many artists that are painters whose works continually sell for great amounts and I have always felt being a photographic artist somewhat limited what I could do or the acceptance of photography as an actual form of art in this modern media driven culture.  I designed this piece to become a classic work that would endure.  Printed on a beautiful satin metallic surface, suspended as if floating in a heavy black drop frame.  I was awestruck seeing the Robert Mapplethorpe piece that was hanging in the Museum the last several months and it become the base for my own vision of this piece.

Everyone keeps saying, “Well this must give you a great sense of validation.”  I don’t necessarily feel it for me, but I feel it for the art of photography and what it can become.  It is something I love that I have wrapped my existence around for years, something that is now always taken seriously in many art circles.  Tonight was a revelation that photography can stand on it’s own.

I am utterly contented this morning and now the encouragement to begin thinking and working toward bringing my imagery into a more presentational artist form.  Thanks to all who support my work and help me maintain my vision.