Photographer Peter Beard: Tributes paid to 'visionary artist'


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Mick Jagger and Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes are among the stars who have paid tribute to the photographer Peter Beard, who has died aged 82.

Jagger called his close friend a “visionary artist” while Duran Duran said Beard’s appreciation of “beauty and art was an inspiration”.

Beard was a highly influential photographer, primarily renowned for his daring wildlife shots.

He had dementia and his body was found after he went missing on 31 March.

A hunter found him over the weekend in a remote wooded area of a state park in Long Island, east of New York City, local police said.

“We are all heartbroken by the confirmation of our beloved Peter’s death,” his family said in a statement.

Beard’s career spanned six decades and resulted in a huge body of work which combined photography, collage and scrap books covering wildlife and conservation as well as fashion and fine art.

He was a regular at the iconic Studio 54 disco club and a mainstay in the fashion world, famously discovering the model Iman, who married David Bowie, and photographing some of the world’s top supermodels.

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Jagger, who had been a close friend of Beard, took to his Instagram page to share a memory of his friendship with the photographer.

“Sad to hear my dear friend Peter Beard has died, he was a visionary artist and photographer, who wasn’t afraid to take risks.

“My thoughts are with his wife Nejma and daughter Zara.”

Rhodes said on Twitter that Beard was “one of life’s great adventurers”.

Musician Nile Rogers also praised Beard for being a “a kind, lovely soul of the highest order”.

The rock band Garbage called Beard “a fabulous creature” on Twitter.

Some of his most famous images were of African fauna and his text and photo book The End of the Game, first published in 1965, captured the destruction of the region by colonialists.

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Beard was also known for being a risk taker in the pursuit of his art. He had a brush with death when he was trampled by an elephant in the 1990s and was known to rope rhinoceroses.

And his personal life was just as colourful. He had an erratic and highly publicised love life, mingling with the celebrity elite.

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Iman moved to the US from Kenya as a teenager to pursue a modelling career

Among his numerous famous friends were Lee Radziwill, Candice Bergen, Cheryl Tiegs, Truman Capote, Jagger, Francis Bacon, Jacqueline Onassis and Andy Warhol.

His family said: “Peter was an extraordinary man who led an exceptional life. He lived life to the fullest; he squeezed every drop out of every day.

“He was an intrepid explorer, unfailingly generous, charismatic, and discerning. Peter defined what it means to be open: open to new ideas, new encounters, new people, new ways of living and being.

“He died where he lived: in nature.”


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