A businessman pays £750,000 ($1.5 million) for a photo of an organic Irish potato taken by high-end photographer Kevin Abosch. Vision: Today Show, Channel Nine PT0M51S http://www.smh.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-49hmo 620 349 January 25, 2016
The chips certainly aren't down for photographer Kevin Abosch. He recently sold this photograph of a potato for £750,000 ($1.5 million). Really. It should be noted that it's an organic spud, from the spiritual home of the potato, Ireland, so you'd expect it to be a bit pricier per kilogram than the dirt-cheap variety. The Kevin Abosch photo Potato #345 which has sold for $1.5 million. Photo: Kevin Abosch
But even Abosch, better known for taking portraits of celebrities including Johnny Depp, Bob Geldoff and Steven Spielberg, acknowledges that some might find the price tag for the photograph, entitled Potato #345, a little "absurd". Advertisement Abosch's explanation of how the sale came about suggests wine might have had something to do with the transaction. Abosch, who is based in France and Ireland, was having dinner with an unnamed European businessman at his home when his guest saw the photograph hanging on the wall, The Sunday Times in London reported. A Kevin Abosch portrait of Irish singer Sinead O'Connor.
Abosch had photographed the potato in 2010, after it was delivered to his home in a batch of organic vegetables. "We had two glasses of wine and he [the businessman] said, 'I really like that.' Two more glasses of wine and he said: 'I really want that,' " Abosch said "We set the price two weeks later. It is the most I have been paid for a piece of work that has been bought [rather than commissioned]." Kevin Abosch. Photo: Twitter/@kevinabosch
Abosch's trademark portraits on black backgrounds have become collectors' items among the wealthy, with each commission regularly earning him upwards of £200,000. The Sunday Times reported that three different-sized prints of the potato were made. Abosch donated one to the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Novi Sad, Serbia; one is in his private collection; and the third was sold to the private buyer. Abosch told the newspaper that he had photographed a number of potatoes, but was not certain of the variety of the one in the photograph. Abosch's previous work includes Faces of Ireland, a series of 250 portraits of people from Ireland, launched in 2011, as well as portraits of Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.