Andreas Gursky is a German visual artist known for his large format architecture and landscape color photographs, often employing a high point of view. Visually, Gursky is drawn to large, anonymous, man-made spaces—high-rise facades at night, office lobbies, stock exchanges and the interiors of big box retailers.
He was born in Leipzig in 1955, but he grew up in Düsseldorf, the son of a commercial photographer. In the early 1980s, at Germany's State Art Academy, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Gursky received strong training and influence from his teachers Hilla and Bernd Becher, a photographic team known for their distinctive, dispassionate method of systematically cataloging industrial machinery and architecture. Gursky demonstrates a similarly methodical approach in his own larger-scale photography. Other notable influences are the British landscape photographer John Davies, whose highly detailed high vantage point images had a strong effect on the street level photographs Gursky was then making, and to a lesser degree the American photographer Joel Sternfeld.
Last year at an auction at Christie's New York, an image of the Rhine by Andreas Gursky fetched $4.3m (£2.7m) setting a record for the most expensive photograph ever sold.