Looking Aside—South African studio portraits 2003-2006
In this intimate and unsettling series of images, created between 2003-2006, the artist points his lens at those people whose appearance makes us “look aside”. Hugo’s subjects are the blind, people with albinism, the aged, his family and himself. In doing so, he forces us to confront ourselves and our preconceptions and prejudices, and question why we are so awkward when we encounter people who are unusual in some way. In these frontal declaratory portraits, we see what we usually choose to look at from the corners of our eyes.
Pieter Hugo was born in Johannesburg in 1976 and lives in Cape Town. He has held solo exhibitions at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Roma; FOTOGRAFIA International Festival of Rome; Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town; and Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles. Recent group exhibitions include; the 27th São Paulo Biennial “reGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow, 2005-2025” at the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, and Aperture Gallery, New York. He won first prize in the Portraits section of the 2006 World Press Photo competition, and was selected by Getty Images as one of their Young Photographers 2006. He is the recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art 2007. In 2008, Pieter Hugo was the winner of the KLM Paul Huf Award and the Arles Discovery Award at the Rencontres d'Arles.In 2011 the project Messina/ Musina was part of the exhibition about contemporary south african photographers “Figures and Fictions” at the V&A in London. Pieter Hugo latest project Permanent Error has been recently shown at MAXXI museum in Rome and the related book is nominated for The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012.