Peter Beard - Photographs London Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The Time is Always Now Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    Peter Beard, Cologne: Taschen, 2008, pl. 268 (variant)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the 1990s, Beard began to make larger works as featured here, using his trademark combination of collage and photography, blood (one of his favourite mediums), ink, paint and affixed objects. The drawings are intricate and cartoon-like, slightly naïve but with an edge of darkness and a resonant meaning. Such works are a cabinet for the outpouring of Beard’s mind, overstuffed with the detritus of life: a viewer might wonder whether their maker was insane or a genius.

    In content, Beard’s works resemble a time capsule. Aided by the recording medium of photography, they are littered with portraits of the rich and famous, the beautiful people who have populated his life; everyone from the Kennedys to the Rockefellers has visited the nowfading Hog Ranch in Kenya, which Beard acquired in the 1960s.

    Peter Beard’s works are his life, fragmentary moments pieced together with the natural species that he so reveres. To be in the company of a work by Beard is somehow to acquire a ‘texture’ of him: to attain a small part of his addictive personality, to escape from reality as he seems to have done all his life, to be suspended in a magical dream for a moment – only to have our eco-conscience abruptly awoken from the initial euphoric rush.

    (Please refer to the sale catalogue for the full version of the essay).


Hunting Cheetahs on the Taru Desert, Kenya, June

Resin coated print with ink, paint, blood, affixed snake skin and drawings by the African artists in residence at Hog Ranch, printed later, in a driftwood frame made to the photographer’s specifications
Overall: 204.5 × 333.5 cm (80 1/2 × 131 1/4 in)
Signed, titled, dated and annotated in ink in the margin; ‘The Time is Always Now’ label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

£140,000 - 180,000 

Sold for £325,250


17 May 2012