From the pages of Vogue to the vast expanses of Africa, artist, photographer and writer, Peter Beard introduces us to a world of both unparalleled beauty and brutal truth.
As a young man,Beard’s initial interest in the Dark Continent led him to a meeting with “Out of Africa”author Karen Blixen (alias, Isak Dinesen). This meeting aroused in him an abiding curiosity about African ecosystems, a curiosity that soon matured into full fledged passion.
Beard migrated to Africa in 1961,where he found the cause that would become his lifelong commitment— depicting the ongoing destruction of wilderness and wildlife at the hands of man. Using the elephant as a metaphor for humanity,he published his first book, “The End of the Game,” in 1965. A combination of photographs and prose, this shocking opus exploded onto the scene with a message few wanted to acknowledge; human beings are the single most dangerous species on earth— a creature systematically ravaging the diversity of nature and impoverishing its own habitat in the process.
Beard’s subsequent publications and exhibitions have continually reiterated this theme. His most recent book,“Peter Beard Fifty Years of Portraits,”published in 1999,samples from his vast portfolio; representing decades of vision,sympathy and dedication to both his craft and cause.Referring to mankind as “masters of mismanagement,”Beard hopes his work will “stimulate us into rethinking and re-education” thus inspiring us to “move forward on the issue of conservation with honesty and re-evaluation.”The work is stunning, beautiful and fiercely provocative; truly a stirring testament to the astounding power of a unique, committed individual to affect enormous social change.