Chris Wallace was born and raised in LA, an only child big into sports who secretly read Dragonlance books and Camus. He went to college in Utah on a football scholarship, playing quarterback before returning home to get an MFA in writing from USC where he made award-winning short films. In 2009, Chris moved to NYC and since then has written essays focusing on masculinity, fame, society, art and existentialism — topics which feature prominently in the life and work of Peter Beard (about whom Chris is writing a biography for Ecco press). Beard was the cousin of Camargo founder Jerome Hill, and he spent a good portion of his life in Cassis, recreating his beloved Van Goghs, and photographing locals, like Brigitte Bardot and Pablo Picasso.
Twentieth Century Man; A biography of Peter Beard
Photographer, adventurer, rake, raconteur, Peter Beard was born into a blue-blooded family of stockbrokers and empire builders in New York in 1938. But even as a young boy, growing up in Manhattan in the middle of the 20th century, he knew he wanted to make a life of play, in nature, with animals, taking pictures as he went. His was a life guided by powerful enthusiasm, for beauty, for adventure, for danger, and he followed his enthusiasms to Kenya in his adolescence, returning again after he graduated from Yale to build for himself a home there where he would spend much of the rest of his life. In his native New York he found another outpost, in the once sleepy fishing village of Montauk, at the end of Long Island, and built a beautiful kind of bohemia there and everywhere he went, all the while creating arresting imagery of wildlife, of the highlife, and of the intersections between the two that he created. But Beard's real work of art was his life, a life of excess, adventure, romance, thrill seeking and passions.