Businessman buys portrait of a potato for $1.56m

Potato #345.
Potato #345.PHOTO: KEVIN ABOSCH/ TWITTER

Would you pay €1 million (S$1.56 million) for a portrait of a potato?

A European businessman did just that.

The businessman, whose identity is not known, saw the photograph while dining at Irish celebrity photographer Kevin Abosch's home in Paris, and decided to purchase it off the wall after a few glasses of wine.

Titled Potato #345, the simple photo was taken in 2010 by Mr Abosch, 46.

It features an organic Irish spud on a black background shot under a single light using a digital camera.

Surprisingly, there are two other prints of the potato - one in Mr Abosch's private collection and the other was donated to a museum in Serbia.

According to Telegraph, Mr Abosch's photos are usually commissioned for at least £200,000 (S$408,000), making the sale of the simple potato portrait the biggest of his career.

The much sought-after photographer has also shot Nobel Peace Prize laureates Malala Yousafzai and Aung Sang Suu Kyi. He has also worked with tech entrepreneurs such as Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg.

His photos are always set on a black background.

When asked why he chose to photograph a potato, he said: "I see commonalities between humans and potatoes that speak to our relationship as individuals within a collective species.

"Generally, the life of a harvested potato is violent and taken for granted. I use the potato as a proxy for the ontological study of the human experience."