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Peter Beard
Peter Beard

Peter Beard

Country: United States
Birth: 1938 | Death: 2020

Peter Hill Beard is an American artist, photographer, diarist and writer who lives and works in New York City and Kenya. His photographs of Africa, African animals and the journals that often integrate his photographs have been widely shown and published since the 1960s. Born in 1938 as a New York aristocrat, he was heir to a railroad fortune on his mother’s side of the family and a tobacco inheritance on his father’s. He was raised in New York City, Alabama, and Islip, Long Island, Beard began keeping diaries as a young boy and making photographs, as an extension of the diaries, at the age of 12. A graduate of Pomfret School, he entered Yale University in 1957, with the intention of pursuing pre-med studies, only to switch his major to art history. His mentors at Yale included Josef Albers, Richard Lindner and Vincent Scully.

Inspired by earlier trips to Africa in both 1955 and 1960, Beard traveled to Kenya upon graduation. Working at Tsavo National Park, he photographed and documented the demise of 35,000 elephants and other wildlife, later to become the subject of his first book, "The End of the Game." During this time, Beard acquired Hog Ranch, a property near the Ngong Hills adjacent to the coffee farm owned by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), which would become his lifelong home-base in East Africa.

Peter Beard's photographs of Africa, African animals and journals that often integrate his photographs have been widely shown and published since the 1970s. Each of his works is unique, a combination of his photography with elements derived from his daily diary-keeping, a practice he continues to this day. These volumes contain newspaper clippings, dried leaves, insects, old sepia-toned photos, transcribed telephone messages, marginalia in India ink, photographs of women, quotes, found objects, and the like; these become incorporated, with original drawings and collage by Beard. Certain of his works incorporate animal blood, sometimes Beard’s own blood (in sparing quantities), a painting medium the artist favors.

Beard's first exhibition was at the Blum Helman Gallery, New York, in 1975. Landmark museum exhibitions have been held at the International Center of Photography, New York, in 1977, and the Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, in 1997. Gallery exhibitions followed in Berlin, London, Toronto, Madrid, Milan, Tokyo and Vienna. Beard’s work is included in private collections throughout the world.

In 2017, Beard was sued by actor David Spade who purchased one of his works. Spade tried to resell a Peter Beard photograph that he had purchased from dealer Peter Tunney but the unsigned work could not be authenticated.

Descended from distinguished American families on both sides, Beard is one of three sons born to Roseanne Hoar Beard and Anson McCook Beard, Jr. A great-grandfather, James Jerome Hill, was founder of the Great Northern Railway in the United States in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Having made his fortune in the railroad business, James Jerome Hill was a great patron of the arts. All of his heirs were exposed to and owned great collections, presumably having a strong influence on Beard’s interests in the arts and beauty.

Beard married his first wife (Minnie Cushing Beard Coleman) in 1962; their marriage lasted only briefly. His second wife was supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, from 1982 to 1986.

In 1986, he married Nejma Khanum. The couple has a daughter, Zara, for whom his book, Zara’s Tales, was written.

Beard has befriended and in some cases collaborated with many legendary artists including Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, Francis Bacon, Karen Blixen, Truman Capote, Richard Lindner, and Salvador Dalí. He has also photographed many well-known people.

Source: Wikipedia


Peter Beard is a contemporary American photographer best known for his documentary images of Africa arranged in unique photo collages that combine painting, drawing, and text. Part documentarian, part activist, Beard’s work captures the plight of a continent succumbing to industrialization. “The wilderness is gone,” the artist has said, “and with it much more than we can appreciate or predict. We'll suffer for it.” Born on January 22, 1938 in New York, NY the artist and diarist was educated at Yale University, studying art history with the famed abstract painter Josef Albers. After moving to Africa in the 1960s, Beard began to catalog the demise of elephants and rhinoceroses in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. In 1975, while living in Nairobi, Beard spotted a beautiful university student named Iman, the photographer later brought her to New York, launching her career as a super model. Over the course of his career he has collaborated with Andy Warhol, Richard Lindner, Francis Bacon, and others. Beard currently lives and works between New York and Montauk, NY, and Nairobi, Kenya.

Source: Artnet

 

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Dawoud Bey
United States
1953
Dawoud Bey (born David Edward Smikle; 1953) is an American photographer and educator known for his large-scale art photography and street photography portraits, including American adolescents in relation to their community, and other often marginalized subjects. In 2017, Bey was named a fellow and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and is regarded as one of the "most innovative and influential photographers of his generation". Bey is a professor and Distinguished Artist at Columbia College Chicago.] According to The New York Times, "in the seemingly simple gesture of photographing Black subjects in everyday life, [Bey, an African-American,] helped to introduce Blackness in the context of fine art long before it was trendy, or even accepted" Born David Edward Smikle in New York City's Jamaica, Queens neighborhood, he changed his name to Dawoud Bey in the early 1970s. Bey graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School. He studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York from 1977 to 1978, and spent the next two years as part of the CETA-funded Cultural Council Foundation Artists Project. In 1990, he graduated with a BFA in Photography from Empire State College, and received his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1993. Bey didn't receive his first camera until he was 15, and has stated until that point he wanted to become a musician. Early musical inspirations included John Coltrane and early photography inspirations were James Van Der Zee and Roy Decarava. In his youth, Bey joined the Black Panthers Party and sold their newspaper on street corners. He does not consider his work to be traditional documentary. He'll pose subjects, remind them of gestures and sometimes give them accessories. Over the course of his career, Bey has participated in more than 20 artist residencies, which have allowed him to work directly with the adolescent subjects of his most recent work. A product of the 1960s, Bey said both he and his work are products of the attitude, "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." This philosophy significantly influenced his artistic practice and resulted in a way of working that is both community-focused and collaborative in nature. Bey's earliest photographs, in the style of street photography, evolved into a seminal five-year project documenting the everyday life and people of Harlem in Harlem USA (1975-1979) that was exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979. In 2012, the Art Institute of Chicago mounted the first complete showing of the "Harlem, USA" photographs since that original exhibition, adding several never before printed photographs to the original group of twenty-five vintage prints. The complete group of photographs were acquired at that time by the AIC. During the 1980s, Bey collaborated with the artist David Hammons, documenting the latter's performance pieces - Bliz-aard Ball Sale and Pissed Off. Over time Bey proves that he develops a bond with his subjects with being more political. The article "Exhibits Challenge Us Not to Look Away Photographers Focus on Pain, Reality in the City" by Carolyn Cohen from the Boston Globe, identifies Bey's work as having a "definite political edge" to it according to Roy DeCarava. He writes more about the aesthetics of Beys work and how it is associated with documentary photography and how his work shows empathy for his subjects. This article also mentions Bey exhibiting his work at the Walker Art Center, where Kelly Jones identifies the strength of his work and his relationship with his subjects once again. Of his work with teenagers Bey has said, "My interest in young people has to do with the fact that they are the arbiters of style in the community; their appearance speaks most strongly of how a community of people defines themselves at a particular historical moment." During a residency at the Addison Gallery of American Art in 1992, Bey began photographing students from a variety of high schools both public and private, in an effort to "reach across lines of presumed differences" among the students and communities. This new direction in his work guided Bey for the next fifteen years, including two additional residencies at the Addison, an ample number of similar projects across the country, and culminated in a major 2007 exhibition and publication of portraits of teenagers organized by Aperture and entitled Class Pictures.] Alongside each of the photographs in Class Pictures, is a personal statement written by each subject. "[Bey] manages to capture all the complicated feelings of being young — the angst, the weight of enormous expectations, the hope for the future - with a single look." Bey's "The Birmingham Project" was inspired, in part, by a 1960s Civil Rights era photograph by Frank Dandridge of 16th Street Baptist Church bombing victim, Sarah Jean Collins. The Project includes a series of diptychs of an older person, alive when the bombing occurred, paired with a child the age of the victims, portraying "an almost unbearable sense of absence and loss." In 2018, his project Night Coming Tenderly, Black, consists of a series of photographs evoking the imagined experience of escaped slaves moving northward along the Underground Railroad. This work involves not portraits but landscapes, portrayed at night through the means a little used silver-gelatin process. The work seeks to evoke both terror and hope in a "land of fugitives". Bey has lived in Chicago, Illinois since 1998. He is a professor of art and Distinguished College Artist at Columbia College Chicago. Source: Wikipedia
George Zimbel
United States / Canada
1929
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United States
1956
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William Henry Fox Talbot
United Kingdom
1800 | † 1877
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