Charging lions, smiling natives, preening supermodels -- all have their place in the life of intrepid photographer Peter Beard. Born in 1938 into an affluent family, the dashing Beard eschewed studies in medicine in favor of art. Reading Karen Blixen's Out of Africa compelled him to visit that continent in his youth, and there he found his purpose: using his photos, diaries, and collages to document the destruction of Africa's animal population. Among his many books: 1965's The End of the Game, an appalling chronicle of the demise of Africa's wildlife. Recently he released Peter Beard: 50 Years of Portraits, which he'll promote in Miami's Design District this week in conjunction with an exhaustive exhibition of his work.
Straight from the croc's mouth: Photographer Peter Beard takes a break
Appears from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 15, and Friday, February 16, through April 18. Admission is free. Call 305-438-1966.
At a-d furniture interiors, 70 NE 40th St., where "Peter Beard: 50 Years of Portraits" remains on display
In his other incarnation, Beard is known as a jet-setting fashion photographer. Credited with discovering the exotic beauty Iman (now Mrs. David Bowie), he was married to Cheryl Tiegs briefly and was a regular at Studio 54 in its heyday. From a cell phone outside New York City's Downtown Cipriani restaurant ("Downtown, of course; uptown is out of the question"), Beard spoke to New Times.
New Times: What do you find so enchanting about Africa?
It has a minimum of elements which you might call the galloping rot. It had authenticity. Of course it's losing it by copying us.