Andreas Gursky (January 15, 1955) is a German visual artist known for his large format architecture and landscape color photographs, often employing a high point of view. Rhein II, an image by Gursky, fetched $4.3m (£2.7m) at Christie’s, New York on November 8, 2011, becoming the most expensive photograph ever sold. He was born in Leipzig in 1955, but he grew up in Düsseldorf, the son of a commercial photographer. In the early 1980s, at Germany’s State Art Academy, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Gursky received strong training and influence from his teachers Hilla and Bernd Becher, a photographic team known for their distinctive, dispassionate method of systematically cataloging industrial machinery and architecture. Gursky demonstrates a similarly methodical approach in his own larger-scale photography. Other notable influences are the British landscape photographer John Davies, whose highly detailed high vantage point images had a strong effect on the street level photographs Gursky was then making, and to a lesser degree the American photographer Joel Sternfeld.