16 х 20 in. cm.
Signed, lower right and inscribed, "Karen Blixen at Rungstedsted Dec 3rd.1961 for The End of the Game and Kamante Gatura, Rengute Village (the same year) - Espace des Arts (Chalons-sur-Soane) 1990-'91"
Framed: 22 x 26 in.
This cibachrome of collaged elements by Peter Beard juxtaposes author Karen Blixen (a reoccurring subject and constant inspiration for his work) against Kamante Gatura, a Kenyan national who became Blixen’s cook and close friend. Gatura, who was also a self-taught artist in his own right, employed mostly colored pencil and crayons in his work to capture the life of his native Kenya with natural scenes of animals and daily rituals of the people. In this photograph, animalistic components such as an image of a procession of elephants, a piece of shed snake skin, and a segment of animal hide add additional hints of Beard’s love for the wildness of Africa. "The End of the Game" was the artist’s exploration of the destruction and devastating change of Africa as a result of big-game hunters, missionaries, and colonialism. Specifically, Beard investigated the complex relationship the evolved between animals and man, as both struggled to adapt to changing environments.
Attracted to the idea and process of personal preservation, Peter Beard (b.1938) began taking photographs at an early, viewing them as an extension of his written diaries. Two years before starting at Yale University, North Haven, CT in 1957 as a pre-med student, Beard traveled to Africa where he was enthralled with the culture, landscape, and natural wildlife that would help sway his interests towards art history, and compel him to focus on his art. Upon graduating from Yale in 1961, Beard began working with Karen Blixen, author of ‘Out of Africa’, ‘Shadows in the Grass’, and ‘Gothic Tales’. The two traveled to Kenya, Africa where Beard worked at Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, photographing and documenting the rapid demise of the country’s wildlife, which he parlayed into ‘The End of the Game’ books, published in 1965 and 1977.
Beard’s concern with Africa has been realized in numerous books, articles and through his photographic work for over 4 decades. In addition to his own work, Beard has befriended and collaborated with many artists, including Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, Richard Lindner, Terry Southern, Truman Capote, and Francis Bacon. His work was first exhibited in 1975 at Blum-Helman, New York, NY, with his first solo show two years later at the International Center of Photography, New York, NY. Since then, Beard’s work has been heavily sought after and widely exhibited throughout the world. His photographs have appeared in shows at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK; Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris, France; KunstHausWien, Vienna, Austria; and Seibu Museum, Tokyo, Japan.