Fred Hatt, b. 1958, artist and blogger, self-portrait photo 2011 by Fred Hatt
This is a first for Drawing Life – a men’s style post. Artists, writers, and musicians create not only a body of work but also a persona. The possibilities are broad, but the options are naturally constrained by the face and body Nature has given. As I have found myself becoming a bearish middle-aged man, my own style has gravitated towards a classic type. The trimmed beard I had ten years ago has expanded to what is now known on the interwebs as an “epic beard”. It covers my double chin and also serves as a tribute to my many artistic forebears, artists whose fulfillment manifested in silverback gravitas rather than studly cutness or prettyboy romance. So here is a fairly arbitrary selection of bearded males (and one female) of the creative bent, presented in completely random order. What a great opportunity to put myself in the context of the greats!
Hermeto Pascoal, b. 1936, composer and musician, photographer unknown
Daniel Day-Lewis, b. 1957, actor, photo by John Spellman/Retna Ltd.
Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961, writer, photo by Yousuf Karsh
Luciano Pavarotti, 1935-2007, singer, photographer unknown
Jim Henson, 1936-1990, puppeteer, photographer unknown
Thelonious Monk, 1917-1982, composer and musician, photographer unknown
George Carlin, 1937-2008, comedian and writer, photographer unknown
George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, playwright, photographer unknown
Albrecht Dürer, 1471-1528, painter and artist, self-portrait
Auguste Rodin, 1840-1917, sculptor and artist, photo by Nadar
George Clinton, b. 1941, musician and bandleader, photo by Marcy Guiragossian/Marcy G. Photography
Constantin Brancusi, 1876-1957, sculptor, photo by Edward Steichen
Toshiro Mifune, 1920-1997, actor, still from Red Beard, directed by Akira Kurosawa
Erik Satie, 1866-1925, composer and musician,photographer unknown
Charles Dickens, 1812-1870, writer, photo by Jeremiah Gurney
Allen Ginsberg, 1926-1997, poet, photographer unknown
Devendra Banhart, b. 1981, singer-songwriter, photographer unknown
Ai Weiwei, b. 1957, artist and activist, photographer unknown
Sergei Parajanov, 1924-1990, film director and artist, photographer unknown
Walt Whitman, 1819-1892, poet, photo by Matthew Brady
Isaac Hayes, 1942-2008, songwriter and musician, photographer unknown
Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890, painter, self-portrait
Alan Moore, b. 1953, writer, photographer unknown
Hans Holbein the Younger, 1497-1543, painter, self-portrait
Oliver Sacks, b. 1933, neurologist and writer, photographer unknown
John Lennon, 1940-1980, songwriter and musician, photographer unknown
Jennifer Miller, b. 1961, performer and writer, photographer unknown
Claude Monet, 1840-1926, painter, photo by Nadar
Terry Riley, b. 1935, composer, photo by Lenny Gonzalez
Salman Rushdie, b. 1947, writer, 1992 photo by Andy Ross
Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895, writer and statesman, photographer unknown
Johannes Brahms, 1833-1897, composer, photograph by C. Brasch
Jerzy Grotowski, 1933-1999, theater director, photographer unknown
Stanley Kubrick, 1928-1999, film director, photographer unknown
Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910, writer, photographer unknown
Gustav Klimt, 1862-1918, painter, photographer unknown
The beard is naturally an expression of masculinity and maturity. It also seems to denote sensitivity in a man of rough or plain features. Imagine many of the men in these photos clean shaven, and see how their power, like that of the shorn Samson, is diminished.
All photos, besides the one of me, were found on the web. Clicking on the photo links to its source.
Of course this collection is arbitrary and incomplete. Feel free to use comments to nominate worthy bearded artists I’ve omitted.