Peter Beard: A Wild Life
This unique set of four works by Peter Beard features Vietnamese concert pianist Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen - one of Beard's muses. Peter Beard is well-known as one of Andy Warhol's friends and artistic collaborators during the Studio 54 and Factory days. But of all his many achievements, including his critically acclaimed wildlife photography, Beard is perhaps best known as the photographer who famously discovered the model Iman in Somalia, and whose images of her helped catapult her to international superstardom. Iman would later marry rock star David Bowie. In a similar vein, this set of intimate, posed photographic portraits depicts Vietnamese concert pianist Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen (also known as Cho-San Nguyen), founder of the American Vietnamese Friendship Organization (AVFO). Taken in 2006, the works show her seductively posing against a stylized backdrop of portraits of famous composers. In addition to her musical accomplishments and charitable ventures, Cho-San Nguyen is also quite the socialite herself, and in recent years, she frequently appeared in the tabloids for a different reason: she was rumored to be one of the many alleged mistresses (or muses) of the very married, and very influential Google billionaire Eric Schmidt.
The present work has superb provenance donated by Peter Beard himself at a fundraiser for Cho-San Nguyen's American Vietnamese Friendship Organization, which Beard personally attended.
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Signature: Signed and dated boldly in green marker lower right Overall Size: 23 x 29 in. (58.42 x 73.66 cm.) Framed Size: 24 x 30 x 1 in. (60.96 x 76.2 x 2.54 cm.)
The present work was donated by Peter Beard himself at a fundraiser for Cho-San Nguyen's American Vietnamese Friendship Organization, which Beard also attended.
Known for his fashion photography and striking images of Africa, Peter Beard’s photographs of sub-Saharan fauna and New York City nightlife in the 1970s and ’80s represent a sustained engagement with a libidinal power. Beard’s interest in Africa can be traced to his trips to the continent in the 1950s and ’60s, which he viewed as escapes from the high society into which he was born. During the 1970s, Beard began working for fashion magazines and became a fixture at Studio 54. Although separated by an ocean, both bodies of work are concerned with a certain kind of brutality and virulence. Beard later turned to photo-collage to bridge these two oeuvres, adding elements such as news clippings and his own blood to further explicate the themes of violence.
American, b. 1938, New York, New York