29 May 2008

Artists of Grimness: Peter Beste

If there's such a thing as the George Hurrell of Black Metal, American photographer and Houston native Peter Beste is probably it. Beste recently released a book (appropriately entitled True Norwegian Black Metal), which showcases his portraits of prominent figures in the Black Metal milieu, including Abbath of Immortal, Gaahl of Gorgoroth, Frost of Satyricon and 1349 (pictured above), and the members of Mayhem. Aside from being technically impressive--Beste, like Hurrell, is a photographer who knows how to work with lighting--the photography featured also highlights excellently the atmosphere of Black Metal, and the music's connection to the geography of Norway.

Samples from the book are available for viewing at Peter Beste's website. Though not related to Black Metal, Beste's other work is also quite good. His portrait photography captures the pathos of his subjects, at times quite poignantly. I particularly liked his Rural America series.

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