The large-format photograph — the full title of which is Dead Troops Talk (A vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986) — was estimated to sell for between $1.5 and $2 million US. The image depicts Russian (Red Army) troops killed in the Afghan war sitting up and talking with one another — some laughing, some looking in horror at their injuries. It is one of two prints created by Wall, according to Christie’s.
This sale breaks the previous record for the most expensive Canadian photograph, which was also held by Wall for an image titled The Well which sold for $1.1 Million USD at a 2008 Sotheby’s auction in London. The final auction price for Dead Troops Talk of $3,666,500 US makes it the third most expensive photograph ever sold, after Andreas Gursky’s Rhein II (1999) which sold for $4,338,500 US in November 2011 and Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #96 (1981) which sold for $3,890,500 US in May 2011.