Sunday, August 3, 2008


One of my all time favorite photographer and artist, Peter Beard exemplifies what it means to take your art to very edge and beyond. At first glance it seems Peter's work is nothing more than stunning photos you would see in a National Geographic magazine. Upon close observation however, you realize it has that raw power of documentary photography, but has the seduction of beauty images. And that's what its all about: the otherworldly beauty of the African peoples, landscapes and its animal kingdoms. Spanning almost an entire lifetime, Peter has documented this mysterious, primitive and often misunderstood continent like no other. His rich, well to do upbringing and good looks, Peter is also famous for his entourage, namely supermodels and rock stars. He photographed some of the top models of the day including Iman, Veruschka, and the equally notorious, Janice Dickinson. For Peter, only girls that were headstrong and daring would do, as safaris, wild animals and regional tribes were to be their counterparts. Once the shots were done, Peter would make giant prints and throw paint, animal skins, dried leaves and insects, quotes, inscriptions, animal as well his own blood on to the photos. He also kept intense collage work-journals with the same techniques he used for his gallery prints. Quite MAJOR if you can actually afford one...
Peter Beard has had many books that have been published but perhaps his major, I mean MAJOR book is a hefty tome published by Taschen. One of the best books of all time, hands down. The price keeps going up however, at last inquiry it was listed at $1800...The book is spectacular, as most Taschen titles are, and is packaged in a wood crate and comes with its own craved-wood stand. 
(G to the 3RD power/highest RAZ rating)
See the entire book at the Taschen bookstore in Soho: 
107 Greene st /212.226.2212 and log on to 

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