Pieter Hugo is one of my favourite South African photographers because of his ability to find and capture some of the most captivating and disturbing subject matter on the African continent. His work shows the diversity and beauty of Africa, replete with its contradictions, historical scars and cultural richness.
Kin is Hugo’s latest photographic project, which is “the artist’s effort to locate himself and his young family in a country with a fraught history and an uncertain future”.
“Kin is the artist’s personal exploration of South Africa through landscapes, portraits and still life photography. Hugo depicts locations and subjects of personal significance, such as cramped townships, contested farmlands, abandoned mining areas and sites of political influence, as well as psychologically charged still lives in people’s homes and portraits of drifters and the homeless. Hugo also presents intimate portraits of his pregnant wife, his daughter moments after her birth and the domestic servant who worked for three generations of Hugo’s family.”
True to form, his imagery is double-edged, both beautiful and disturbing, intimate but alienating. He really is a great artist.