The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The world's most expensive photo sells for $3,890,500

All I can say about this is "wow".  A self-portait by American photographer Cindy Sherman, has sold for an amazing $3,890,500.

Cindy Sherman/Courtesy of Christie's
Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1981

From NPR: "The 1981 self-portrait taken by celebrated photographer Cindy Sherman was sold at a Christie's auction Wednesday. The sale surpassed Christie's estimates of $1.5-2 million ringing in at a final price of $3,890,500. That's not only a record for the photographer, but also the "highest price ever realized for a photograph," says Daniel Kunitz, editor in chief of Modern Painters."
The previous record was set in 2007 when Andreas Gursky's, 99 Cent II Diptychon fetched $3,346,456. Here's a list of the top five most expensive photos according to Wikipedia :
1. Cindy Sherman, Untitled #96 (1981), $3,890,500, May 2011, Christie's New York 
2. Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent II Diptychon (2001), $3,346,456, February 2007, Sotheby's London auction. A second print of 99 Cent II Diptychon sold for $2.48 million in November 2006 at a New York gallery, and a third print sold for $2.25 million at Sotheby's in May 2006 
3. Edward Steichen, The Pond-Moonlight (1904), $2,928,000, February 2006, Sotheby's New York auction 
4. Dmitry Medvedev, Kremlin of Tobolsk (2009), $1,750,000, January 2010, Christmas Yarmarka, Saint Petersburg 
5.Edward Weston, Nude (1925), $1,609,000, April 2008, Sotheby's New York auction
You can read a complete list of the most expensive photographs here.

Ugandan parliament gives up on "death sentence for gays" bill for the moment

While we debate such controversial topics  as gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia in the Western world, it's important to note that much more basic human rights issues, which we take for granted, are still being debated in democratic countries in other parts of the world. One of the more vile issues, currently being proposed by a government, is the anti-gay bill that has been kicking around the Ugandan parliament since 2009. The bill would mandate the death sentence for gays in some instances, and imprisonment in others. For the moment, parliament has adjourned without voting on the bill, largely due to pressure from the U.S. and other Western countries.

This doesn't mean the issue is dead. The author of the bill, David Bahati, has said he would try to move the legislation forward next session.

As you would expect, life in Uganda is not easy for gays. Last year, a tabloid newspaper printing names and photos of men it claimed were gay, with a front page headline "Hang Them". Not long after, gay rights activist David Kato, whose photo appeare in the paper, was murdered. Police denied any connection between his sexual orientation and murder.

Politics in Uganda might be better than in the days of dictator Idi Amin , but they obviously have a long way to go. Uganda's opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye, has been repeatedly beaten by police during protests over the recent election results. He eventually had to flee the country for medical treatment and was initially barred from returning. The government eventually relented and allowed his return, for fear of embarrassment in front of visiting African leaders, in the country to attend the forth-term inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni.

Here's the video of his return.