Is Peter Lik Art Worth It?

According to this article by Artnet, women and millennials are the fastest growing art buyers. That fits me to a tee. Baby boomers are still the largest demographic of art collectors. Most people primarily buy art for the aesthetic value rather than the financial appreciation, however millennial collectors are more likely to view art as a financial asset to build wealth. Is Peter Lik art worth it?

For my “reward” for getting to a particular investment portfolio milestone, I told myself that I would get some Peter Lik art. I have always been fascinated by Peter Lik artwork and photography, ever since I set foot in his gallery in Las Vegas and in Waikiki (the Waikiki one is no longer there and has since closed down) over 15 years ago. The colours are so vivid and the photograph looks like it is popping out at you.

I hummed and hawed about getting Peter Lik art because it is so expensive. However, I like to do what I say (and on this blog I said I would get myself some Peter Lik photography after I meet this portfolio milestone) and I needed spend money to get to a welcome bonus for a credit card I signed up for.

Nothing like meeting a welcome bonus to make me lose my inertia/ indecision and take action and blow some cash.

Who Is Peter Lik?

Peter Lik is probably one of the most famous photographers with no formal training in the world. He is self taught and picked up his first camera at the age of 8.

He is known to have sold a photograph named Phantom (of Antelope Canyon) to an anonymous bidder for $6.5 million in 2014, this is apparently the top three amount paid for a photograph as of 2023, however there has been no proof of this transaction. Peter Lik’s lawyer did verify this though. It is still uncertain.

Is Peter Lik art worth it? Well, Peter Lik himself doesn’t think his prints are worth it. According to this New York Times article, Peter Lik likens his artwork to buying a car. He says it’s like a Mercedes, you drive it off the lot and it loses half its value.

He is very good at marketing, that’s for sure.

The Peter Lik galleries are placed in high traffic touristy areas (Las Vegas, Hawaii, La Jolla, Miami, Aspen to name a few). People are relaxed and probably want to take home (or ship home) a souvenir from their travels (or they think about getting one for 15 years and finally take the plunge).

Peter Lik Pricing

Peter Lik sells his artwork in limited edition prints of 995. As the prints sell out and get closer to 995, the pricing becomes more expensive.

On his website, limited edition prints (out of 950) start off at $3400 USD and this includes the frame. As the prints get closer to 950, it gets more and more expensive. For example, Ocean Window is $12,100 USD.

How To Get Peter Lik For Less

So how do you get Peter Lik photography for less?

Just like getting a used car is better value than getting a new car and driving it off the lot, getting a used Peter Lik provides more value than purchasing directly from his website.

Even then, some people don’t believe there’s much of a secondary market for Peter Lik prints, they really do seem to depreciate once you order it off the website or have it shipped home from the gallery.

How much of a difference is it?

Well, here’s the print I was interested in. It was for sale on the Peter Lik website for $5200 USD. Shipping costs another $600-700 USD.

Now let’s see how much it is on the secondary market.

What are some secondary markets for Peter Lik?

Peter Lik prints can be found on eBay or with another second hand brokerage, called Art Brokerage.

On eBay some of the Peter Lik listing prices are quite high, like a Celestial Dreams print for over $45,000 USD.

Art Brokerage is a website where people can list the art they want to sell and there is a mediator that helps you answer questions and arrange shipping. Unfortunately they don’t really share the amount that the seller wants to list it for, so you have to inquire via a message, but the representatives answer questions quickly.

Art Brokerage is the leading secondary resale source for Peter Lik Fuji panorama prints.

This photograph with frame was a little over $3000 USD and shipping was another $450 USD. There is no duty on art, but you have to pay GST/HST which amounted to over $500 CAD (the Canadian government likes to collect their taxes).

Some other prints I inquired about were $3900 USD on Art Brokerage and when being sold directly by Peter Lik, it is $5800 USD.

That’s about a $2000 USD difference (or more depending on the print).

Alternatively if you don’t want to buy Peter Lik but just want to get the photography style, there are photographers who have similar landscape style and who use the special Crystal Halide paper, and many of them ship it for free.

Alex Gubski has similar looking prints to Peter Lik for a fraction of the cost.

Andrew Shoemaker was one that I was looking at and he is based out of Maui.

It is significantly cheaper for a similar style of photography but I ended up buying a Peter Lik print anyway.

Art Brokerage provided shipping boxes for the seller and it was packaged up nicely and crated on delivery.

I’m one of those suckers who bought the Mercedes from someone who drove it off the lot.

So is Peter Lik art worth it?

It depends.

They say art is worth only what someone will pay for it, and what I paid was pretty much my upper limit. I’m happy I was able to get a Peter Lik print for less than the Peter Lik website price.

I’m not sure if it will sell for more later on so I don’t particularly view the art that I bought as an investment, but something to give me a little peace and serenity when I see the vibrant colours in our home.

Did I get caught holding the bag? Financially with regards to an investment in art, perhaps, but it makes me happy looking at the pretty framed photograph of Hawaii.

What do you think of Peter Lik prints?

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