Legendary Photographers at Rick Wester Fine Art.
Learning about important vintage photographs from the specialist who has dedicated his entire career to photography, makes for nothing less than a perfect conversation. We had one such conversation with Rick Wester, Director of Rick Wester Fine Art at AIPAD 2013. We asked him about the three star artworks in his booth and he was almost instinctively drawn to Horst P. Horst‘s Round the Clock (featured image, above) as his first choice. This phenomenal photograph has a unique composition and tends to convey a new lyrical note every time we look at it – maybe it is because of the stance, or the ruffled layers of the frock, even perhaps the intrigue generated by the title of the photograph!
This version of the famous image happens to be a Platinum print – a more exclusive and a higher-end version of the silver print. That unravelled the mystery that had been on our minds for close to 2 hours, ever since we first laid our eyes on Edward Weston’s Nautilus Shell 1927 at another booth at the fair. You see, at the Phillips auction the previous day, the Weston photograph was estimated at $5,000 to $7,000, and was sold for $6,250, while the same photograph was on offer at another booth at AIPAD for close to $10,000! Well, now we know that the photographs may look the same, but it is the “Platinum” that made the cut over the “Silver” print. Thank you, Mr. Wester.
The next two photographs Rick Wester selected were Irving Penn’s Black & White Vogue Cover (Jean Patchett) and Josef Sudek’s A Walk in Mionší, 1955 – 1970. Each of these had unique qualities that made for a high collectible value. Irving Penn is a highly regarded artist and this photograph has a painterly feature to it – in its flatness lies the volume of its star quality. Josef Sudek’s photograph, dedicated to Tennyson Schad, is a window into the world of the artist. By not removing the frame of the photograph, Sudek has allowed the viewer to see the moment the way he saw it.
We asked Rick Wester to wear a collector’s hat and tell us which photograph from his booth would he have liked to include in his own collection. His eyes moved towards Laurie Lambrecht’s Hangzhou Koi, 2009…
AIPAD 2013 is the vintage art lover’s dream come true. We found an almost 70:30 ratio in favor of the sheer number of vintage and modern photographs over contemporary works at the fair. What made the art fair even more delightful was the relatively affordable price tags on the works.
Interview transcript on page 2