Sunday, March 21, 2010
Mallam Mantari Lamal with Mainasara, Nigeria 2005. Digital C-Print. 117 cm x 115 cm
Abdullahi Mohammed with Gumu, Ogere-Remo, Nigeria 2007. Digital C-Print. 117 cm x 115 cm
Mallam Galadima Ahmadu with Jamis, Abuja, Nigeria 2007. Digital C-Print 117 cm x 115 cm
Alhaji Hassan with Ajasco, Ogere-Remo, Nigeria 2007. Digital C-Print. 117 cm x 115 cm
I chose Pieter Hugo because of how he came transform his subject and balance them within a frame. There's something haunting about Hugo's Hyena & Other Men series, I love the use of the unsaturated palette in what many people around the world view Africa as a very colorful/vibrant and diverse continent. Since I have been working within a square format for most of this semester, i felt that I needed some more inspiration from someone that uses it. To continue about the color, I also use that desaturated palette with much success, I feel that adding a coolness to the image in those sort of lush condition adds a nice juxtaposition to the concept and the imagery.
"In Abuja we found them living on the periphery of the city in a shantytown - a group of men, a little girl, three hyenas, four monkeys and a few rock pythons. It turned out that they were a group of itinerant minstrels, performers who used the animals to entertain crowds and sell traditional medicines. The animal handlers were all related to each other and were practising a tradition passed down from generation to generation. I spent eight days travelling with them."
"Pieter Hugo created the series The Hyena Men while traveling in Nigeria with a troupe of animal charmers and their collection of tenuously domesticated hyenas, monkeys and snakes. The portraits feature groupings of men and animals surrounded by the barren urban centers of northern Nigeria. Taken during quiet moments between the spectacles of street performances, the photographs depict a stillness that subverts the tense physicality of the animals and their trainers."
-Yossi Milo (press release)
Pieter Hugo was born in 1976 and grew up in Cape Town. He underwent a two-year residency in 2002-3 at Fabrica in Treviso, Italy. In 2009 he had solo exhibitions at Tinglado 2 in Tarragona, Spain, and the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney, Australia, among other venues, and in 2008 at Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool and Ffotogallery in Penarth, Wales. Recent group exhibitions include Street & Studio: An urban history of photography at Tate Modern, London (2008); Make Art/Stop AIDS at the Fowler Museum, UCLA (2008); An Atlas of Events at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2007); the 27th São Paulo Bienal (2006); and Street: Behind the cliché at Witte de With, Rotterdam (2006). Hugo was included on ReGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow, 2005-2025 (Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, and Aperture, New York), an exhibition identifying 50 young photographers who will be considered great by 2025, accompanied by a book published by Thames & Hudson. He won first prize in the Portraits section of the 2006 World Press Photo competition, and was the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2007. In 2008 Hugo was the winner of the KLM Paul Huf Award and the Arles Discovery Award at the Rencontres d'Arles Photography Festival in France.
Biography is from the Michael Stevenson Gallery