Peter Lik: Should I Buy His Landscape Photography?

There’s no doubt about it, Peter lik has managed to become the most commercially successful landscape photographer of all time. With such success of course comes a deluge of negative publicity, neigh sayers and general disdain towards the guy. Who’s side should you take though? Is his work a solid investment worth dropping some serious coin on or should you steer clear? Read on for some thoughts around Peter Lik and whether you should purchase his landscape photography.

The Investment

With works such as Phantom, a black and white version of Peter Lik’s Ghost allegedly selling for 6.5 million USD Peter Lik now holds the title for the worlds most expensive photograph ever sold. The sale of course has been held under much scrutiny, being sold to a private collector means the figures can’t be verified, unlike previous records in which sales figures have been acquired through auction houses. Is the sale of Peter Lik’s Phantom real? We’ll probably never know. Perhaps it’s a marketing ploy, perhaps it was bagged by a wealthy investor, regardless, this sale really shouldn’t influence whether you choose to purchase Peter Lik’s photography.

A quick scour of online auction sites and local classifieds will reveal a host of original Peter Lik photos for sale, the bad news? They certainly aren’t selling like hot cakes, nor are they fetching figures beyond what their original sale price would have been.

And here lies the reality. You shouldn’t purchase Peter Lik’s work as an investment. Look at art as a whole, at the end of the day the vast, vast majority of pieces will never appreciate in value… and that’s ok. What it means, is that as an art buyer you should let your purchasing decisions be driven by aesthetics, as opposed to possible financial gain.

Using a shutter speed of 1/30th sec I was able to freeze the motion of the waves.

Resale Value : Why Wont My Peter Lik Appreciate?

First of all, look at the edition sizes. Sure, Peter Lik’s work is sold as limited edition prints, most of his work however is limited to edition sized of 950. I might not need to tell you, but 950 really isn’t ‘that’ limited. Not enough to make his art scarce and appealing to collectors who ‘must’ have something unique. Furthermore, on top of the edition of 950 prints 45 artist proofs are produced and sold. This is certainly an over inflated number of artist proofs and most likely just a way of differentiating some prints and selling them for more. Either way, the moral of the story is that Peter Lik’s prints simply aren’t limited enough to appreciate in value to a huge degree.

So Uhhh, Should I Buy Peter Lik's Photography?

In all honesty, yes. If you enjoy Peter Lik’s photography and having his art on your walls will help make your house a home then buy it. The real value in art lies in its ability to add something to your life, to evoke a mood, to simply create an atmosphere and make your home an enjoyable place to live.

This stands true of all artists, whether it’s a painter at a local markets, an expensive piece in a local gallery, or, my own work even. The single motivating factor behind the purchase should simply be because you enjoy the work and find personal value in having the work in your life. And that’s all that matters. If art can make you happy, make you feel uplifted or simply make your home relaxing then it’s done its job and it was a purchase well made. Buying art for any other reason is simply missing the point.

Now go buy that Peter Lik and enjoy spending time with your family in your beautifully decorated home!

NB. I’ve used my own photography in this article in place of Peter Lik’s work. Why? Because using his work would be a copyright infringement. You’ll just have to imagine ‘Ghost’, ‘One’, ‘Phantom’ and ‘Tree of Life’ sitting proud in this article!

Ps. While you’re here feel free to take a look around, check out my landscape photography and don’t forget to sign up below for updates on new print releases and tutorials.

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