Pieter Hugo (b. 1976) is a leading South African photographer. Hugo is self-taught, using his practice to confront photography’s controversial history of depicting marginalised groups. Hugo’s earlier photographic series focused on Africa, and peripheral societies throughout the continent, and more recently he has worked beyond Africa’s borders including in Mexico City. His images are most typically posed portraits which allude to themes of class, identity, race and privilege. Hugo’s most famous body of work is The Hyena and Other Men from 2007, a series which followed a group of animal wranglers in Nigeria.
In 2007, Hugo was also selected as the recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award. His exhibition which followed, Messina/Musina travelled to museums throughout South Africa, including the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town and the Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg. The following year, Hugo received the Discovery Award at the Rencontres d'Arles Festival in France and in 2011 he was announced as the winner of the Seydou Keita Award at the Rencontres de Bamako African Photography Biennial in Mali. In addition to multiple awards, a total of four monographs have been published on the artist and his work to date.
Hugo’s images have been widely exhibited throughout the world, including in major exhibitions at a number of prestigious museums such as the Barbican Centre, and Tate Modern in London; FOAM Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam and at the Perez Art Museum, Miami. His work is represented in prominent collections including at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Rijksmuesum, Amsterdam and MOMA, New York.