Art Market Blog – Affordable, Desirable and Collectible No. 3
This weeks affordable, desirable and collectible artwork is a photograph entitled ‘Sale’ by the Texas based photographer Sarah Sudhoff. When I first saw this photo I thought that I was looking at some sort of futuristic machine that was being used to conduct genetic experiments on plants until I noticed the key pad in the right corner which identified this machine as a vending machine for flowers. As soon as I realised what I was looking at I began to ask myself all sorts of questions such as:
-In what circumstance would such a machine be required?
-What sort of people would use such a machine?
-What was the motivation behind the creation of such a machine?
-Where is the machine located?
Sarah has been clever enough to leave the answers to these questions to the viewer’s imagination which allows for an endless number of possible answers for the viewer to create.
Although this photograph holds up extremely well without any further explanation which is rare in modern art, and even rarer in contemporary photography, there is more to this work than meets the eye. As Sarah explains on her website:
“Following my surgery in 2004 for cervical cancer, I began to photograph, film and perform in hospitals, morgues, medical museums and my doctors’ offices. I first saw the floral vending machine on the morning of my surgery. As I took the elevator up to the second floor of the hospital, the negative spaces, florescent lights, and tacky, impersonal bouquets of flowers resonated with me as I entered in to the operating room. Sale was the first photograph taken for the Repository series.”
Although this explanation is very emotional and powerful it does not take anything away from the aesthetic qualities and the cultural and social aspects but instead adds another dimension to the work which makes it all the more special.
Sarah has worked as a freelance photographer and editor in New York for magazines such as Time, People and Entertainment weekly. Her work has been exhibited nationally (USA) and has been featured in publications such as Texas Monthly, Seventeen, Photo District News, the Daily news and Time.com. With such an impressive resume which includes an MFA in Photography, Sarah Sudhoff is definitely on the right track to becoming a major player in the contemporary photography market.
One particular piece of information that is worth noting is that Sarah was recently selected as one of the 20 new artists to watch by the Austin Museum of Art located in downtown Austin, Texas. Sarah’s work will be on view at the museum in February 2008 which will be sure to raise her profile so get in now while this work is still available.
This work is being sold by the Humble Arts Foundation as a small edition of ten each of which is signed and numbered by the artist. To purchase a print for an extremely reasonable $375 go here
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.