Saturday, March 24, 2012
Iman and Peter Beard: Muse and Photographer
Peter Beard, the man who introduced the iconic, Somalian model Iman to the New York Fashion elite in the early 70's (and watched her career sky rocket!), seems loaded with all the right ingredients: curiosity, empathy, compassion, passion, drive plus blessed with an artistic eye who is able to see beauty in unconventional contexts.
His fascination with and respect for Africa (decades before the dark continent became fashionable to take a deeper look at and "save"), ancient African tribal life, protecting and fighting for endangered animals,photographing sultry,statuesque fashion models and partying with influential socialites makes for a unique lifestyle...all celebrated in his spectacular photographs that enlighten, shock and amuse.He followed his adventurous dreams and ended up living a life more fantastic than anything Hollywood could have imagined.
He has successfully intersected the worlds of high art, high fashion, high society and humanitarianism on his terms to serve his needs.
Mr.Beard's daily journals are physically huge works of art in themselves.
Overwhelmingly organic, they are almost living objects that have been spontaneously, randomly, obsessively created with his photographs, magazine and newspaper scraps, notes, drawings, doodles, comments, collages with multidimensional found treasures and debris (including his own blood) from his daily experiences more than qualify as important works of intense, raw, fine art...exposing the guts and soul of one very lucky man who made the most of all that he was given.
Explore his many books and witness his passion.
I'm not always in love with the "Americanization" of Iman's image. I much prefer her original , extraordinarily elegant, majestic African beauty, but I understand how that evolution was unavoidable in order for her to become a superstar in her field.