Peter Beard - Photographs London Tuesday, May 7, 2013 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    The Time Is Always Now Gallery, New York
    Private Collection, Switzerland

  • Literature

    A. Graham, P. Beard, Eyelids of Morning: The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1990, p. 218
    J. Bowermaster, The Adventures and MisAdventures of Peter Beard in Africa, Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1993, cover and back cover
    Peter Beard: Fifty Years of Portraits, New York: Arena Editions, 1999, pp. 186-187
    Peter Beard (Photofile), London: Thames & Hudson, 2008, pl. 20
    Peter Beard, Cologne: Taschen, 2008, pl. 380

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘Passion’ is a word which could be applied to Peter Beard on a myriad of levels. A man described as ‘half Tarzan, half Byron’ by Bob Colacello (the author of Holy Terror, a biographical memoir of Andy Warhol), to others he is a Darwinian rock star who wields the instruments of photography and collage as his weapons of choice. Creating heightened representations of nature, he incorporates its raw and majestic brutality, but also employs narrative and sometimes literature to convey an urgent message about how we humans exist in our environment, causing both personal and global catastrophe.

    Peter Beard has become a celebrity of sorts, both among his peers and those who adore his art. Whispers of his behavior drift through every space his work is shown: his fabled good looks, seductive charm and insatiable love of all forms of beauty – all come dripping in to the conversation whenever one discusses his work. It is all too delicious not to mention. However, more than anything, what is vividly apparent is that Beard’s work is an epitaph to noble beasts. His images are scientific documents decoratively wrapped with picture clues and conundrums, riddles, notations, quotes – visual keys to a very real puzzle of survival and longevity.

    Here in this lot we see some of his distinct trademarks; collage, photography, ink, paint and affixed objects. In content, Beard’s works resemble a time capsule aided and constructed via the recording medium of photography. His works are his life; fragmentary moments pieced together, the glue being the natural species that he so reveres. To be in the company of a work by Peter Beard is somehow to acquire a ‘texture’ of him: to attain a small part of his addictive personality, to be suspended in a magical dream for a moment – only to have our eco conscience abruptly awoken from the initial euphoric rush.


I'll Write Whenever I Can, Koobi Fora, Lake Rudolf, Kenya

Gelatin silver print, printed 2000 with ink, paint, drawings by the artists Kivoi Mathenge, E. Mwangi Kuria and affixed photographs, magazine cuttings, leaves and feathers.
Overall 82.3 x 120.5 cm (32 3/8 x 47 1/2 in)
Signed, titled and dated in ink on the recto; The Time Is Always Now copyright credit stamp on the reverse of the frame.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £74,500

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Photographs, London
+ 44 207 318 4092


London 8 May 2013 4pm