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Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b.b. 1948)


Birth Place: Tokyo, Japan


Who is photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto?

Hiroshi Sugimoto is a photographer and architect best known for his involvement in the New Material Research Laboratory, an architectural firm based out of his native Tokyo.  His use of a large format camera, coupled with extremely long exposures are trademark Sugimoto photography aesthetics. He is known as a craftsman and an artist that has some of the best technical abilities of any photographer in the world. 

Sugimoto’s photographs have taken him all over the world, and include collaborations with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, sculptor Richard Serra, and even the Rock Band U2 (who used one of Sugimoto’s images for the cover of their album, No Line on the Horizon). His architectural feats include a sculpture and rock garden in Tokyo, as well as the restaurant Stove, a prestigious restaurant located inside a refurbished wooden house in the Yamanashi Prefecture in Tokyo. 

What kind of art does Hiroshi Sugimoto make?

Hiroshi Sugimoto is a photographer who is best known for his long exposure shots, typically with a large-format camera. His Gelatin silver print portraits of wax figures of famous artists and world leaders are extremely popular and include a memorable Dali image with the famed surrealist staring quizzically at a rooster on his shoulder. His pieces are almost exclusively in black and white, using his mastery of light and exposure to create great depth, sincerity, and beautiful stillness in many of his works. His photographs are magnetic, one can stare for any length of time and still feel like the depth and beauty of his work has yet to be fully probed and explored. 

How did photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto get started?

Born and raised in post-war Tokyo, Sugimoto was interested in photography from an early age. He took his first photography class in High School famously photographing some film footage of Audrey Hepburn when it played in a local movie theater. In the 1970s, he studied politics and sociology, but eventually switched to Art. He moved to the US and received a BFA in Fine Arts from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. From there he moved to New York City and worked as an antiques dealer, which led to his Dioramas series in 1976. This series would put Sugimoto on the map and announce his arrival as a master by the end of the next decade. 

How much are Hiroshi Sugimoto photos worth?

Typically Sugiomoto photographs are worth anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to close to six figures. The highest price ever paid for a Sugimoto photograph was $94,600 on November 29th, 2012 for the piece S.C. Johnson Building (2001). There are signs that Sugimoto pieces could trend even higher in the coming years. Some estimates have future photographs selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Where to buy Hiroshi Sugimoto photographs for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Hiroshi Sugimoto photographs?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.

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