This is shaping up to be the Peter Beard summer!
Beard, of course, is the noted artist, author, photographer and great good friend of such luminaries like Mick Jagger and Lee Radzwill, as well as the late Jacqueline Onassis and Andy Warhol. He recently introduced his first solo US museum exhibit in 15 years, Peter Beard: Last Word From Paradise, at Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton. (Make sure to stop by; it runs until July 31.)
The show presents more than 50 multi-layered collages, drawings, photographs, and diaries from the 1960s to the present, some on public view for the first time. It includes the artist’s iconic work from Africa that chronicles the change in the landscape from a time richly populated by elephants, rhinos, and crocodiles, to what remains today. Also on view are the never-before exhibited Montauk portraits of his home, family, and those famous friends.
Ever since early childhood, Beard said keeping diaries has been a constant source of artistic inspiration. “Life is ever-evolving and with it so is my work. That is one important aspect of doing my diaries—continuous enhancement.” Using his diaries as points of departure, his complex process involves incorporating newspaper clippings, dried leaves, feathers, insects, old sepia-toned photos, photographs of women, quotes, and found objects, in addition to working with ink and paint.
For fans of Beard’s work there now a chance to not only take in the super Guild Hall exhibit, but to own some of his work. East Hampton’s Gallery Valentine (33 Newtown Lane) is mounting a show with some of Beard’s never-seen-before works featuring such subjects as Pamela Anderson, Hannah Davis (who is engaged to Derek Jeter), Chanel Iman, Nina Agdal, Helena Christensen and Alexandra Richards. (Gallery Valentine showcases a diverse list of internationally established artists such as Banksy, John Chamberlain, George Condo, Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Keith Haring, KAWS, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and others.)
The initial private viewing, which will be hosted by private jet club, JetSmarter, will take place on Saturday, July 2nd, with 25 of Beard’s works on display. All pieces are available for purchase and range from $50,000 to $150,000, Behind-the-scenes photographs of the artworks being produced are also in the exhibit.
Beard is a long-time Hamptonite. In 1974, he bought property in Montauk near the Church Estate, which was owned by Andy Warhol and Paul Morissey. Beard drew the Studio 54 crowd and numerous luminaries to his home. A fire in 1977 destroyed the main house of the property along with years of journals and works by Picasso, Warhol, and Bacon. “When I got the news, I knew that you could either get into self-pitying mode or not, and I picked the later,” Beard said.