What do you get when you cross an in-demand photographer, a black backdrop and a haggard, rustic looking potato? A photo that sells for a million dollars, that’s what! Ladies and gentleman, I give you “Potato #345 (2010),” a photograph taken by Kevin Abosch that sold for one million George Washingtons.
Before you ask, there is truly nothing outlandish or special about this portrait. For all intents and purposes, it is nothing more than a photograph of a potato. But when you’re a highly renowned photographer like Abosch, you tend to get groupies and collectors. And when a wealthy buyer who collects Abosch’s work happened upon the potato portrait in the photographer’s Paris domicile, he had to have it. Abosch’s asking price of a million bucks was non-negotiable, and the buyer was more than willing to shell out that astronomical amount, making it Abosch’s largest sale to date and places it in the top 20 of the most expensive photos of all time.
Abosch has garnered quite the reputation for himself as a go-to photographer for the wealthy and powerful business professionals in Silicon Valley. The black backdrop is his iconic trademark, and the portraits that he takes using it have elevated to status symbols for the rich and famous, who pay upwards of $150,000 for a photo shoot, and even as much as half a million if they want to use the photos for commercial purposes. That’s right, in Silicon Valley, the tech elite have a different approach to whipping it out and measuring their ego – it’s all about whether you’ve got an Abosch black backdrop portrait or not.
Apparently, Abosch has a bit of an affinity for potatoes. Abosch doesn’t spend all of his time photographing rich nerds in Silicon Valley – as a fine art photographer, Abosch likes to employ his famous black backdrop on other subjects, potatoes being one of his favorite objects to photograph because they’re all different looking. No one potato is the same. Despite Abosch’s illustrious career, if he never had achieved anything prior and went on to do nothing for the rest of his life, he’d still be known as the man who became an instant millionaire for taking a photo of a freakin’ potato. That’s capitalism for ya.