Thursday, 31 January 2008

Peter Beard

The Artist
When I first went to Kenya in August 1955, I could never have guessed what was going to happen. Kenya's population was roughly five million, with about 100 tribes scattered throughout the endless "wild—deer—ness" - it was authentic, unspoiled, teeming with big game — so enormous it appeared inexhaustible.
Everyone agreed it was too big to be destroyed. Now Kenya's population of over 30 million drains the country's limited and diminishing resources at an amazing rate: surrounding, isolating, and relentlessly pressuring the last pockets of wildlife in denatured Africa.
The beautiful play period has come to an end. Millions of years of evolutionary processes have been destroyed in the blink of an eye.
The Pleistocene is paved over, cannibalism is swallowed up by commercialism, arrows become AK- 47s, colonialism is replaced by the power, the prestige and the corruption of the international aid industry. This is The End Of The Game over and over.
What could possibly be next? Density and stress — aid and AIDS, deep blue computers and Nintendo robots, heart disease and cancer, liposuction and rhinoplasty, digital pets and Tamaguchi toys deliver us into the brave new world.
I can't mention Peter Beard without showing some of his work. All the more poignant as much of it originates from Kenya. I cannot believe how bad life has become in what I thought was such a beautiful tranquil country. Still waters run deep.


La Belette Rouge said...

I love Peter Beard's collages. There was a young boy who made journals about Africa whose work is very much like Beard's---and the boy died. I forget his name.

Bruce Kremer's work is nice. Like it. Thanks for sharing it.

materfamilias said...

Alison, You Make My Day regularly by exposing me to so much wonderful art I would otherwise never come across. I've linked to you and posted an award badge at my site (pass it along if you'd like)