Tag Archives: peter beard

{PHOTOBLAST} ‘SELFIE’-CENTERED SOCIETY

 

ROBERT CORNELIUS - 1839- SLFIE CENTERED- THE EYE OF FAITH VINTAGE BLOG

Robert Cornelius – Self Portrait – 1839

The FIRST ‘Selfie’ , as well as the first ever photograph of a human being in history. Not bad for a dead guy . . .

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KIM K - SELFIE CENTERED - THE EYE OF FAITH VINTAGE BLOG

“Why do you like me more when I was prouder and wilder, more full of words, yet emptier?”
― Friedrich Hölderlin

Don’t quote me on this one, but I feel like I’ve been hearing/reading a lot of talk about Kim K being the inventor of the selfie. She released her book SELFISH , and whilst you can attribute the ‘success’ of her following (52.8 million and counting) to her candid take on life posting bits and bites of her online constantly, she wouldn’t be the first or last to take a picture of themselves.

Nowadays ‘selfies’ are rampant on the internet, and its quite curious to see a generation of children growing up with the notion that there is an essential need to post one’s image ‘online’ at all times. There’s a saying these days that ‘if you don’t see it on Instagram, it didn’t happen‘ – which by all standards seems a little reductive to the actual experience of life and living, don’t you find?

While Kim may have been one of the forerunners in the popularization of the ‘selfie’, and even pushing the boundaries of the process of raising your phone in front of your face and pushing a button to some form or medium that one could consider ‘art’ . . . ? ? ?

Too much self-centred attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centred attitude is the source of suffering.

-Dalai Lama

Yes, that’s what’s strange and hilarious about this whole ordeal, when in fact, if you take a look at a ‘selfie’ from the past, they are a whole lot more interesting than the run-of-the-mill duck face, booty-tooched, tiara-faced, bicep crunched, mid drift bared, grainy narcissism that is usually made to elicit some form of hype or attention; rather they are candid, curious moments immortalized by light and silver taken in a manner that is even more technically advanced and complicated than your phone or tablet.

Hope I didn’t offend anyone and their phone or tablet, but its the gosh-darn truth. And even before the advancements of the photograph in general, we had artists who painstakingly mixed pigment and with brushes artfully illuminated their souls onto canvas in what are often the best works by any artist- the self portrait, as we have come to call it.

It’s good to be selfish. But not so self-centred that you never listen to other people.

-Hugh Hefner

It would seem as a collective whole; as a community through history – we have always been fascinated by our true image, or at least, the image we leave behind of ourselves when we are gone. Perhaps its a stab at not being forgotten, or perhaps it is the artists own way of insuring they remember the times that were.

So in true E.O.F. style, we want to take a look back at the great ‘selfies’ of the past, remembering where we came from, and hopefully we can invigorate some imagination to add a flux to our inevitable futures.

Some things never change . . . certain aspects can change drastically on a dime, but as a whole, I think our tendencies tend to stay consistent.

The oldest ‘selfie’ we included in the gallery is of Ancient Egyptian sculptor Bak, who was chief sculptor to the pharaoh Akhenaten (father to the very famous Tutankhamun) who drastically shifted Ancient Egyptian customs during his rule which included their religion, as well as the world of art. Amazingly, this sculpture that depicts Bak and his wife dates from 1345 BC and is one of the earliest known examples of an artist taking to their own self image. 

My personal favourite is that of Grand Duchess Anastasia (fourth from last) which dates from 1913. 13 at the time, she uses a Kodak Brownie (circa. 1900) propped on a chair in front of a mirror to curiously capture her own self image and remains one of the most famous ‘selfies’ ever taken (sorry Kim…) due to the circumstances of her death just five years after she took this photo.

Curious how things change. Curious how they stay the same, also.

Keep your eyes open. The past lives everyday around us.

Just takes a little squinting of the eye to see it so clearly.

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. STYLE IDOL: Peter Beard {Into the Wild}

Peter Beard in Francis Bacon's Mirror

HALF BYRON / HALF TARZAN

– Bob  Colacello on Beard in “Holy Terror”

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{b, 1938}

Who wouldn’t want to be Peter Beard ?

The “wayward wasp” from New York City was born to wealth, coming from an aristocratic family (his great grandfather founded the Great Northern Railway in 1857; his grandfather, Pierre Lorillard III, a tobacco heir) – he could have had any life he could dream of.

So, after graduating from Yale with a degree in art history (mentored by art greats Josef Albers, Vincent Scully, and Richard Lindner), and a membership with the Scroll & Key (secret society bro), he chose to escape the jungles of the western world for the true wild of Africa.

Peter-Beard-

I like to hang on to things and see the sea changes, the wear and tear, the spills, rain, and fire- how time works on everything.

-Peter Beard

There he would kick off his fantastic art career with a book entitled “The End of the Game” which documented the degradation of African wildlife brought on by yours truly – mankind. Taken in Tsavo National Park in Kenya, unsettling photos of carcasses and bones and rotting corpses in stunning and timeless sepia tinted black and white photos with mixed media and collage would put a stamp on Peter Beard’s exotic, original, and in-your-face style of photography.

It’s no easy feet trenching through crocodile infested waters, or watching as a colleague is torn in half by a charging rhinoceros, but it didn’t stop him from calling Kenya home.

He would set up home and shop in a rural sanctuary known as Hog Ranch, where he entertained a multitude of the world’s most interesting and fabulous friends, and take some of fashion’s most stunning images. He did it all in the most elegant and cool of ways.

Set against raving African landscapes, Beard brings new life to an industry built on a fantasy of luxury and excess, and strips it down (as well as his models) to the subtle supple curves of a woman, for whom he has had many. . . flecks of paint, and wicked swirls collaborate upon the images to create a magic that is evocative of his timeless and raw sense of style and unique perspective on life.

A rockstar in ever right, find him alongside Mick Jagger on tour, yachting with Aristotle and Jackie Onasis (clocking 4:20 in a $2,000 bet he couldn’t stay underwater for 4 minutes), entertaining royals, taking a nap with Francis Bacon in Andy Warhol’s bed,  or partying with Halston at Studio 54, running from bulls in Madrid,  or forcing Janice Dickinson to pose with a cheetah.

Lets put it simply: Peter Beard is a bad ass. He combines classic American ivy league style with a worldly spirit, nostalgia for the golden days of British Colonialism, all jet set to the max – keeping it clean, cool, masculine, and chic, and never being afraid to rip a shirt or get a stain. The truth is, he probably never thinks twice about any of that shit . . .  prolific playboys never give a shit.

EOF STYLE IDOL- Peter Beard- bad Ass

“I’m not a planner; I’ve never made a decision about anything in my life. The good thing about Africa is that you can escape forever. You can do what you want, without someone looking over your shoulder.”

-Peter Beard

You can still find Mr. Beard at Hog Ranch today feeding giraffes, and occasionally entertaining a photo shoot (back in 2009 he shot an iconic set of photographs for the Pirelli Calendar – click here to watch an incredible ‘Making Of’ video of his work on this piece).

His legendary journals and collage work have been soaring in prices at auctions as of late (his 1968 piece Orphan Cheetah Triptych took in $662,500 at Christie’s in 2012), so it would seem that sometimes doing the complete opposite of people’s expectations can truly pay off.

It’s all in the attitude, or should we say spirit. This is one we should all definitely try to invoke.

So, don’t get stuck in the status-quo. And never let anyone tell you that art isn’t worth it.

Peter Beard by Christopher Wahl

“I’m the most irresponsible person you ever met”

– Peter Beard

It changes people, and it changes the world.

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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{ FURTHER READING: VANITY FAIR, NOVEMBER 1996 – “AFRICAN DREAMER” by Leslie Bennetts }