Pirelli’s new calendar has generated a lot of interest for Peter Beard’s sentimental interest in Botswana’s spectacular nature. Looking at some of the shots this weekend, I was taken with the visual poetry of the photographer’s imagery.
The adventure seeking and danger loving Beard spent 10 days in the wilds of the sun-drenched Okavango Delta in the company of Isabeli Fontana, Malgosia Bela, Daria Werbowy, Raquel Zimmermann (among others), several majestic elephants, gigantic insects and not a lot of clothes. The 52 pages are both disturbing and hauntingly beautiful and are laid out in the photographer's typical collage/personal journal style.
Equally at home in the trendiest New York dives, Paris fashion week’s front row seats and the most remote reaches of the African bush, Beard constantly issues warnings and apocalyptic predictions about the fate of a doomed planet: yes, this is serious business. Anyway, there are a lot of reasons right now why we should celebrate Peter Beard. And they're not only environmentally related! His work is a seductive experience full of rhythmic sensory pleasures, in perfect harmony with the many African influences seen on the catwalks recently (Alaia and his spring/summer 2009 raffia/python dresses and shoes immediately come to mind).
My love affair with this visionary character started many years ago. A journey which will continue forever, accompanied by a constantly growing collection of books!