“I like things that don’t look like you’re in control. It’s like life itself.
You just learn how to benefit from accidents and chances that you take.”
“I’m an escapist. 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.”
“Like society, the diary is a world of useless secrets.
Everything is there, yet there is nothing.”
“The whole world is a scab. The point is to pick it constructively.”
Peter Beard, Envelope with ink and collage, 1984
Peter Beard, At the Edge of the World, Uganda, 1966
“It’s a lonely life for almost everyone. But you can get a lot out of isolation.
Maybe it’s motivating. Motivation is valuable, however you get it—even if
you get it by being slapped in the face.”
“I used to do horseback riding in the South, and it was just things I’d be pasting.
I think my diaries was just an infantile desire to record things. I liked saving
things instead of writing.”
I’ll Write Whenever I Can, Koobi Fora, Lake Rudolf, 1965
“I had some highlight moments in the early ’60s when I used to do a lot of rubbings.
I used Afta; it’s an amazing chemical. If you pour it on something and rub, you get
amazing results. Before that, I used lighter fluid and, well, I’ve always liked blood.
Everybody thinks I am very sick, but the thing is, blood is better than any ink or paint.”
Peter Beard, 1938-2020
Peter Beard, Giraffes in Mirage on the Taru Desert, Kenya, June 1960
Peter Beard, Elephant, 1970
Peter Beard, Spitting Cobra in Tsavo, 1960
Peter Beard, We have lived in the best time…, 1966
Peter Beard, Crocodiles, Mingled destini, Moite Bay, Lake Rudolf, 1965
Peter Hill Beard (1938 – 2020) was an American artist, photographer, diarist, and writer who lived and worked in New York City, Montauk and Kenya. His photographs of Africa, African animals and the journals that often integrated his photographs, have been widely shown and published since the 1960s.