Who Shot Natalie White?
An Imagery Exhibition of and by Natalie White
86 Delancey Street
New York, NY
April 16 – May 16
“More Siren than Muse, more Muse than model, her look, her odd beauty, her song, are all irresistibly sweet, an appeal hard to resist. Yield to it, oh sailor, oh traveler of the seas, oh bon vivant of the world, oh artist in search of her, she is calling you. Answer her. The outcome will not end badly. Joy and delight the only consequence. For this Siren’s songs are of knowledge, inspiration, prosperity and friendship. Rejoice and fear not. Strand yourself upon her shores.” – Gregory de la Haba, curator
The story will A Muse You: Natalie White was discovered by famed photographer Peter Beard inside the now defunct New York City nightclub Bungalow 8, in Chelsea. Peter Beard noticed she had something more appealing to her than youth alone –a similar affect he noticed in Iman, in Africa, years before she was discovered.
Francis Bacon painted Peter Beard over twenty times and said of Peter, “He was the most handsome man I ever met.” His good looks might be how Peter Beard, with neither business card nor cell phone, was able to convince a suspicious Natalie to pose and travel with him. Natalie, a muse, travelled to France and Montauk with Peter — voyages that transformed Natalie from an unknown girl from West Virginia into an international archetype of the siren/muse, the beau ideal, and the full embodiment of artist’s model.
In a sense, Peter and Natalie were like Adonis and Aphrodite, driven by desire. This is best evidenced by Peter’s ongoing fifty-year long career of life and photographic collage work, and Natalie’s continued success as a muse and artist’s model. Like Aphrodite, born from the sea, Natalie continually reemerged as a muse of 17 other artists, all on view at ROX– Noel Arikian, Joseph Arthur, Peter Beard, Anna Bloda, Will Cotton, Michael Dweck, Andrew Einhorn, Paul Forsman, Elliot Goldstein, Jeffrey Hagerman, Sean Lennon, Raphael Mazzucco, Joe Heaps Nelson, Max Snow, Spencer Tunick, Elizabeth Waugh, Darius Yektai, and Oliver Zahm.