Andreas Gursky (born January 15, 1955) is a German photographer known for his large-scale, highly-detailed, and often digitally-altered images of contemporary life and architecture. He is considered one of the most important and influential photographers of his generation.
Gursky was born in Leipzig, East Germany, and grew up in Düsseldorf. He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the late 1970s, where he was a student of Bernd and Hilla Becher, known for their influential documentary-style photographs of industrial architecture.
In the 1980s, Gursky began to develop his own style of photography, which focused on large-scale, panoramic images of contemporary life and architecture. His photographs often show vast, impersonal spaces, such as shopping malls, factories, and stock exchanges, and are characterized by their high level of detail and use of digital manipulation.
One of Gursky's most significant works is "99 Cent II Diptychon," a large-scale photograph of a brightly-lit discount store in Los Angeles, which sold for $3.3 million in 2007, making it the most expensive photograph ever sold at the time. Other notable works include "Rhein II," a photograph of the river Rhine, and "Paris, Montparnasse," an image of a high-rise building in Paris.
Gursky's work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in 1998 and the Hasselblad Award in 2003.
Overall, Gursky's work is significant because it represents a unique and highly-detailed exploration of contemporary life and architecture. His photographs are characterized by their use of digital manipulation and their ability to capture the vast scale and complexity of modern society, and his legacy continues to influence photographers and artists around the world.