Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/04/20

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Subject: [Leica] Morando pictures
From: pswango at (Phil Swango)
Date: Thu Apr 20 14:16:39 2006

To put this whole thread into a little perspective you need to know the
Sante Fe art market.  Art photography there is sold in several venues, each
with its own characteristic slant.  The traditional masters (HCB, AA, the
Westons) and the popular contemporaries (Annie Liebowitz, et al) are handled
mainly by the Andrew Smith Gallery.  Prices range from the mid-low 4-digits
to well into the 5-digit range for the better-known artists.  PhotoEye
handles lesser-known but emerging artists whose reputations are still being
formed, along with some leading-edge contemporaries (Teri Wiefenbach, John
Gossage) and a few venerable locals (William Clift).  Prices are lower than
at Wm. Smith (upper 3-digits to mid 4-digits), and the artists less well
known.  To keep this market viable PhotoEye has to do some market-making of
the type Tina has pointed out.  Some of the richer Anglos in Sante Fe tend
to be somewhat earth-crunchy and "spiritual" in orientation, and thus
constitute a well-defined target that PhotoEye understands and caters to (or
exploits, if you prefer).  This doesn't say one thing or the other about
the Morando photos, but it does sort of explain the hype, or Barnum hokum,
or brilliant marketing, however you want to view it.
I sort of like the pictures, think the marketing blab is silly, and wouldn't
pay that kind of dough for any chromogenic print.  I bought a Stephen Shore
C-print back in the early 80s and it's no longer viewable.  I think things
are better now with the chemistry, but still ...

BTW, a visit to the PhotoEye bookstore and gallery is a must if you're ever
in Santa Fe.  Amazing collection of photo books, and the gallery is usually
fun, though problably not exactly up the typical LUGger's alley.  It's right
off Canyon Road, where they sell the *really* overhyped stuff (mostly

Phil Swango
307 Aliso Dr SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108

Replies: Reply from don.dory at (Don Dory) ([Leica] Morando pictures)