Peter Beard - Photographs New York Thursday, April 4, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    The Time is Always Now, New York

  • Literature

    Taschen, Peter Beard, pl. 177, variant

  • Catalogue Essay

    With a dynamic visual lexicon that combines photography, collage, painting and text, Peter Beard’s Tsavo East fuses the seminal elements that have defined his work over the last 60 years.

    This mural-sized collage weaves together Beard’s endless fascination with the natural world, beauty, and cultural exploration. Anchoring the work is the central image, Tsavo Before the Die-Off, one of Beard’s most poignant photographs referencing the annihilation of 35,000 elephants in his adopted home of Kenya. Combined with it is a masterful composition of seemingly disparate parts: gelatin silver and chromogenic prints that include portraits of author Karen Blixen and big game hunters J.A. Hunter and Philip Percival, alongside his iconic images such as Magritte Ramme and World Record Elephant Tusks and Large Tusker (c. 150 lbs per side); hand applied blood and paint with his trademark handprint across the lower edge; the abstract movement and buildup of paint pooling in the lower right corner; the precisely placed postage stamp of East Africa's native Superb Starling in the upper right of the main image; and a quote from Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa: "In the very old days the elephant upon the roof of the earth, led an existence deeply satisfying to himself and for to be set up as an example to the rest of creation." Tsavo East exemplifies the most celebrated characteristics of Beard’s oeuvre: a harmonious visual amalgamation of commentary, scale, and media.


Tsavo East (early '60's), (as Brör Blixen knew it in the '20's + '30's), West of Daka Dima/ near the Tiva for The End of the Game/ Last Word from Paradise

Toned gelatin silver print with applied ink, paint and blood with affixed stamp, gelatin silver and chromogenic prints, executed later.
47 x 95 1/2 in. (119.4 x 242.6 cm)
Overall 53 x 101 1/2 in. (134.6 x 257.8 cm)

Signed, titled, dated and annotated in ink on the recto; 'The Time is Always Now' copyright credit reproduction limitation stamp and label on the reverse of the frame.

$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $187,500

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New York Auction 4 April 2019