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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

"Peter Beard: Last Word From Paradise" at Guild Hall Museum

"Peter Beard: Last Word From Paradise" at Guild Hall Museum

Peter Beard, I'll Write Whenever I Can (1965/2004)  

Peter Beard, I'll Write Whenever I Can (1965/2004)  

Without a doubt, Peter Beard can be accredited with one of the most fascinating collections of images in contemporary photography. With an outstanding career that began in the 1960’s, Beard has produced a complex yet impressive body of work that elicits his divided affection towards the two places he is proud to call home, Kenya and Montauk. 

The photographer’s concern for wildlife and environmental conservation has been the driving force behind the creation of environmental pieces and collages containing materials ranging from newspaper and magazine clippings to the artist’s own blood. Beard’s fearless attitude has allowed him to capture truly visceral images such as a self-portrait with his lower body inside a dead crocodile’s snout titled I’ll Write Whenever I Can (1965-2004). His work in East Africa focuses predominantly on the death of elephants and the Black rhino to highlight the threat imposed by economic development on these species and the environment. These images were part of his first publication dealing with the beginning of the end of African wildlife titled "The End of the Game" (Viking Press: 1965). 

The images were inspired by Beard’s first trips to Kenya in the 1950’s, and serve as a chronicle of his experiences with the wildlife of the area. Peter Beard’s timeless photography has turned him into a witness of the social, economic and environmental changes of Kenya, a place that along with the fast-paced social life in his home in Montauk became incredibly relevant to his artistic journey.

On Saturday, June 18, the Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, opened “Peter Beard: Last Word From Paradise.” The exhibition features Beard’s wildlife photographs taken in Kenya and never-before exhibited images of his life in Montauk, including portraits of Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Mick Jagger. Don’t miss out on the chance to visit the exhibition, which will be on view until July 31st, 2016. 

Event Photos © Barry Gordin, Courtesy of Guild Hall

Top Image © Peter Beard, Courtesy of Peter Beard Studio. www.peterbeard.com 

Article © Karolina Sotomayor

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Tony Oursler at the MoMA