Take a Peek at These One-of-a-Kind Peter Beard Photographs for Summer

From baby crocodiles to a studio snap of Warhol.

Peter Beard, To Henry & Happy Easter (mingled destinies of crocodyles and man, Moite Bay, Lake Rudolf) (1965).
Peter Beard, To Henry & Happy Easter (mingled destinies of crocodyles and man, Moite Bay, Lake Rudolf) (1965).

A preoccupation of photography has long been the transformation of the mundane, everyday scene into something elevated and magical.

These fleeting, ephemeral moments seem all the more special when the resulting photograph itself is the only print in existence. artnet Auctions’ current sale, One of a Kind: Unique Photographs, highlights such works. Each work is a distinctive, singular piece, presenting an exciting opportunity for collectors of a medium that is traditionally produced in multiples.

The brevity of such instants is striking in images like Peter Beard’s two baby crocodiles hatching from their eggs; a one-time performance by Marina Abramović & Ulay; Allan Tannenbaum’s print of an embrace between Yoko Ono and John Lennon, weeks before the music legend’s death; Helmut Newton’s Polaroid of a concoction of colorful pills on a woman’s tongue in the moment before she swallows them; and art-world luminaries Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol in their prime.

Beard, who has several photographs on offer, is the subject of a retrospective, “Peter Beard: Last Word from Paradise,” on view at East Hampton’s Guild Hall through the end of this month.

Peter Beard, Andy Warhol at The Factory (c. 1976).

Peter Beard, Andy Warhol at The Factory (c. 1976).

Highly aware of the impermanence of the photographic moment is Matthew Brandt, whose purposeful deterioration of his own prints with water for the Lakes and Reservoirs series lends an entirely new aspect to the idea of transformation.

Peter Beard, Elephant reaching for the last branch on a tree, Kenya (1960–1965).

Peter Beard, Elephant reaching for the last branch on a tree, Kenya (1960–1965).

Beard’s elegiac photo of an elephant in Kenya also seizes on a moment, as the animal reaches out for the last branch on a tree, as we might try to hold on to the last moment of summer.

The “One of a Kind: Unique Photographs, ” auction is live through July 21, 2016.


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