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Richard Misrach (American, b.b. 1949)



Who is photographer Richard Misrach?

Richard Misrach is an environmental photographer whose landscape photos often show how humans impact the environment. For decades, Misrach has been recognized as one of America’s most acclaimed photographers. Misrach believes it important that his work is considered political and says that these choices often inform his work as much as his technique or composition. He is quoted as saying, “My career, in a way, has been about navigating these two extremes -- the political and the aesthetic.” 

His 1988 book, Desert Cantos was the winner of the Infinity Award from the International Center for Photography and his 1991 book Bravo 20: The Bombing of the American West won a PEN Center West Award for nonfiction. He has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts (four times) The Guggenheim Foundation, and others. Famously, Apple licensed Misrach’s Pyramid Lake (at Night) (2014) as its wallpaper on the first iPad. His work was also featured in the opening credits of the HBO hit series True Detective in 2014. 

What kind of art does Richard Misrach make?

Richard Misrach is primarily a landscape photographer. His work is gritty and real, often portraying the effects of human encroachment on the natural world. While dark and often intense, there is a mystical, beautiful quality to many of Misrach’s images that make them undeniably magnetic. He has photographed the aftermath of several natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina and the infamous Oakland-Berkeley fire of 1991. Some of his other work includes a series taken of the Golden Gate Bridge over the period of several years, as well as long stretches of the Mississippi River. 

How did photographer Richard Misrach get started?

Richard Misrach is a true renaissance man. He was born in 1949 in Los Angeles, moving to Berkeley for college where he received a BA in psychology from Cal in 1967. It was while on campus that Misrach would learn his talent for photographing important moments, starting with the anti-war riots that raged around him. His next stage of development saw him photographing the homeless of Berkeley on Telegraph Avenue in 1974. This series, entitled Telegraph 3 AM, would become a book and would help put Misrach on the map as an artist -- though he often said later that he had hoped the book would lead to greater impact in helping the homeless at that time. 

How much are Richard Misrach photos worth?

Richard Misrach is one of the great living artists of the 20th century, and as such his photos are often sold for commensurate value. He is part of the New American Color Photography movement, and those pieces have sold for several thousand dollars at auction. Some of his Golden Gate Bridge photographs start at $19,000 and can trend upwards of $40,000. Even lesser works routinely sell for thousands of dollars. 

Where to buy Richard Misrach photographs for sale?

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How to value Richard Misrach 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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