Contemporary photography rising, but would you pay $200K?

Sam Wagstaff, husband or wife to the eminent photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, place modern day images on the map when he bought his assortment to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles for thousands and thousands of bucks in 1984.

Given that then, photographs have become hugely collectable globally, and some is effective fetch up to $200,000.

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Photographic perform by big names these as Tracey Moffatt, an Indigenous Australian artist, Monthly bill Henson, Polly Borland and Petrina Hicks are prized.

Rates for is effective by Moffatt or Henson can achieve tens of thousands of bucks, and Robin Beeche’s trend and art images is represented in major collections, like London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Other images by lesser-known Australian photographers offer an possibility to start off a assortment – in advance of their operate starts off to improve in worth.

The Centre for Modern Pictures (CCP), in Melbourne’s suburban Fitzroy, consistently hosts pictures exhibitions – from Australia and abroad.

US photographer Paul Mpagi Sepiya, who confirmed get the job done at the Whitney Biennial in New York, is on the rise, according to individuals in the know, as are photographers these types of as Ruth Maddison, whose visuals from the 1970s and ’80s are in demand from customers.

When Maddison – centered in Eden, NSW – arrived to Melbourne, she photographed late artist Keith Haring in opposition to the now protected mural at Collingwood Yards.

“Ruth’s work commences at $5000, but a photograph from a person of her minimal gelatin silver prints [one of six] can price $12,000,” states Hugh Hirst, gallery manager for the CCP. The operate of other photographers, these as Shea Kirk, who also exhibited at the CCP, can be obtained for “as little” as $900.