"Christopher Felver’s beatific scrapbook glows, flows, glitters and howls. BEAT is packed with the author’s photographic portraits of Beat luminaries. This is truly the face of BEAT, as well as the heart and soul. It’s cool jazz, true minds, and word tantrums, wrapped in newspaper clippings, collaged with rare covers, manuscript pages, hand-written poems, post cards & scattered ephemera.
All the hip excitement on the streets of San Francisco and the Lower East Side comes alive here. You can fairly smell the incense, the grass, the black coffee. These were heady times when a poetry broadside published by City Lights had the power to send tremors from San Francisco to the East Village. My childhood heroes—poets all—are packed inside like crackerjack toys: Michael McClure, Ed Sanders, Anne Waldman, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Tuli Kupferberg, Diane DiPrima, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Bob Kaufman, and many more. Sadly, the one angelic face absent from these pages is the great Kenneth Patchen. Be that as it may, thank Ra such a gifted photographer as Felver was on the scene to capture these creatures in public and private. Take a joyride down this raucous American highway… here are the best minds of a generation illuminated in black and white." - Derek Pell (ZOOMSTREET MAGAZINE)
Christopher Felver is a photographer and filmmaker. His work has been exhibited internationally—with solo photographic exhibitions—at the Arco d’ Alibert, Rome (1987); the Art Institute for the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas (1987); Torino Fotografia Biennale Internazionale, Italy (1989); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1994); Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, Netherlands (1998); Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles (2002); the Maine Photographic Workshop (2002); Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles (2007); and other galleries and museums. His works have also appeared in major group exhibitions, including The Beats: Legacy & Celebration, New York University (1994) and Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac On The Road, New York Public Library (2007).
He participated in the 53rd Venice International Film Festival, and screened films in festivals and museums around the globe, including presentations at the Library of Congress (2006), the Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles (2006), Lincoln Center, New York (2005), the Mill Valley Film Festival (1996, 2002), Santa Fe Film Festival (2001, 2005), Northwest West Film Festival, Portland Art Museum (2001), Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis (2000), Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (2000), KQED San Francisco (1984, 1999), and WGBH Boston (1984).
The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., New York Public Library, and the Museum of Fine Art in Boston have presented retrospectives of his films: Cecil Taylor: All the Notes (2005), Donald Judd’s Marfa Texas (1998), The Coney Island of Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1996), Tony Cragg: In Celebration of Sculpture (1993), John Cage Talks About Cows (1991), Taken by the Romans (1990), West Coast: “Beat & Beyond” (1984), and California Clay in the Rockies (1983).
Christopher Felver’s books are Beat (Last Gasp, 2007) an intimate memoir of image, text, and reminiscence; The Late Great Allen Ginsberg (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002); The Importance of Being (Arena Editions, 2001), 400 portraits of eminent figures in American arts, letters, music, and politics; Ferlinghetti Portrait (Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1998); Angels, Anarchists & Gods (Louisiana State University Press, 1996), featuring the American avant-garde; The Poet Exposed (Alfred Van der Marck Editions, 1986), a monograph of contemporary American poets; and Seven Days in Nicaragua Libre (City Lights Books, 1984), co-authored with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, based on a week together in Nicaragua with Minister of Culture Ernesto Cardenal.
His work is collected by numerous libraries and museums, including Stanford University Special Collections; Bancroft Library at University of California, Berkeley; The New York Public Library; Donnell Media Center; San Francisco Public Library; University of California Santa Cruz, Special Collections; University of Buffalo, Poetry/ Rare Books Collection; University of North Carolina Special Collections; San Diego State University; University of Delaware Special Collections; UCLA Special Collections; and University of New Mexico Special Collections, among others.
Christopher Felver appears as a guest lecturer at universities and art centers. His photographs are represented and distributed worldwide by Corbis. In 1997, he received the Best Art Documentary Awards at the Cinema Arts Centre International Independent Film Festival, Huntington, New York. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Felver was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.