Peter Beard - Photographs London Wednesday, May 18, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The Time is Always Now, New York

  • Literature

    Peter Beard: Fifty Years of Portraits, Arena, 1999, p. 94
    Peter Beard, Taschen, 2008, pl. 228
    Peter Beard (Photofile), Thames & Hudson, 2008, pl. 31
    Peter Beard, 2013, Taschen, pl. 232

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘Extreme beauty is extreme beauty.’
    Peter Beard

    Beard took this photograph of former model Maureen Gallagher in the nude feeding a giraffe during an impromptu shoot at Hog Ranch, his Kenyan home, in March of 1987. At the time, ABC was filming the television special With Peter Beard in Africa: Last Word from Paradise, released in 1988, during which Beard was filmed photographing Gallagher.

    This captivating image, shot at 2:00am, was the result of Beard seizing a chance moment. Gallagher was about to leave for the airport when Beard grabbed one of the disposable cameras he kept around as backup, asked her to take o her clothes and feed the giraffe, then took the shot. He saw the many beautiful women he has photographed – Iman, Veruschka and Gallagher, to name a few – as ‘living sculptures’. This viewpoint is evident in his positioning of Gallagher’s sculpted body.

    Beard’s use of a disposable camera speaks to his understated approach to the medium. It was in the 1970s that Beard made the prediction, ‘In 50 years, everyone will be a photographer’. For Beard, a handy disposable camera is better suited for capturing unforeseen moments of ‘magic’ than slick equipment requiring a crew.

    Although this photograph, one of his best-known images, is the key element, Beard, a lifelong diarist and collagist, brings together various visual elements – a black-and-white photograph, colourful drawings,
    food and beverage labels, newspaper and magazine cuttings – to create this multifaceted work. The intricate drawings by the Hog Ranch Art Department, a team of artists trained by Beard, densely fill the margins and include an image of Beard in a wheelchair aer his near-fatal elephant attack in 1996. Beard often incorporated his handprints and footprints in his work and the footprint in the left margin is possibly his. The pointillist technique applied throughout the background was taught by Beard.

    This unique mural-sized work, which epitomises Beard’s distinctive art form of combining photography, drawing and collage, was acquired by the present owner in 2000 and is appearing at auction for the first time.



Maureen and a late-night feeder, 2.00 am, Hog Ranch, 1987

Unique mural-sized work, comprised of a gelatin silver print with drawings in ink, watercolour and tempera paint by the Hog Ranch Art Department and paper ephemera collage, executed 2000 and in the original driftwood frame.
Sheet: 124.5 x 248.9 cm (49 x 98 in.)
Frame: 142.2 x 267.3 cm (56 x 105 1/4 in.)

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.

This work is unique.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £149,000

Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4092


London Auction 19 May 2016