What You See?

Andreas Gursky

"In the end I decided to digitize the pictures and leave out the elements that bothered me." A striking statement from a fine-art photographer, but that brashness, combined with an astonishing visual sense, has made 46-year-old Andreas Gursky one of today's most celebrated artists. His huge, meticulously printed images of airports, stock exchanges, hotels (like Times Square, left), and fashion boutiques seduce with their saturated colors (sometimes digitally tweaked) and alienate with their hyperreal compositions (sometimes digitally spliced). Gursky's first United States retrospective, which opens at New York's Museum of Modern Art on March 4, will include a new 36-foot-long diptych merging 30 different stockholder meetings.