Peter Beste is an American documentary photographer based in New York City. Known in particular for his precise and poetic portraits of subcultures.
His most recent book, True Norwegian Black Metal (208 pages. Hardcover 11.25" x 14.25" Vice Books 2008) is a seven year exploration into the dark world of Black Metal in Norway. The country's largest musical export gives birth to this notorious subculture- an obscure mix of Satanism, Nordic mythology, horror films and extreme heavy metal which aggressively forsakes Norway's religious heritage and contemporary mainstream society in favor of Nordic heathen gods and self-afflicted isolation. Long considered sealed to outsiders, this secretive and often violent scene gained international prominence in the early 90s through an outbreak of inspired murders, suicides, and church arsons.
Beste's essential photographic record of this unique and inherently extreme realm, in the context of Norway's magical landscape, mythological background, and strong sense of culture, has slowly reshaped its very aesthetic. Capturing what some have called "the most sociological telling pictures of the 21st century," Beste's unprecedented access and insight into this controversial world results in a stunning and honest visual testimonial.
Beste has been simultaneously photographing an in-depth study of Southern Rap culture in his hometown of Houston, Texas, stated for release in 2011.
Beste has had solo exhibitions in London, New York, Tokyo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, Tilburg, Osaka, Atlanta, and Portland. His work has appeared in American Photo, Arkitip, British Journal of Photography, Dazed and Confused, London Observer, Modern Painters, VH1, MTV, NRK (Norway), XXL and many others.