Among the notable pictures on view at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, is a substantial piece by Peter Beard, Andy Warhol Collage (Nothing is Perfect). This imposing work, built from hundreds of individual photographs, has remained unseen for the past 23 years and is in perfect condition. Peter Beard and Andy Warhol were supremely active in New York City throughout the 1970s and ‘80s. They knew each other quite well from the heady nights at Studio 54, where they both spent many nights. But it was in Montauk, where they both owned ocean front homes, that their friendship was cemented. Like many, Warhol adored Beard’s good looks, his intimate understanding of how the New York society worked and moreover, Peter’s indefatigable energy. Beard’s friendship with Warhol produced some memorable pictures, from many of one another, to the bright celebrities that came to visit – Mick and Bianca Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor and John Lennon to name a few. Parties abounded and the stories Beard told were fascinating. Some of these stories are amply preserved in this exceptional piece of work which, in fact, shows Warhol looking through a photo album of Beard’s that focuses on his other great friend, Francis Bacon. Surrounding the central image are hundreds of small, collaged pictures and clippings – some focusing on Warhol, others on Beard’s myriad influence and the politics of the day – the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, Africa, and even Campbell Soup! It is a complete piece of work, every scrap of space used and adorned with Beard’s inimitable script and meandering thoughts.
The Photography Show presented by AIPAD
May 20 – May 22, 2022
415 Fifth Avenue, between 37th and 38th Streets, New York City