Pieter Hugo - Photographs London Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Exhibited

    Pieter Hugo: This Must Be The Place, The Hague Museum of Photography, The Hague, 3 March - 20 May 2012 and Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, 8 June - 2 September 2012
    for each, another example exhibited

  • Literature

    P. Hugo, The Hyena & Other Men, Munich: Prestel, 2007, n.p.
    Pieter Hugo: This Must Be The Place, Munich: Prestel, 2012, p. 133

  • Catalogue Essay

    “These pictures depict much more than an exotic group of travelling performers in West Africa. The motifs that linger are the fraught relationships we have with ourselves, with animals and with nature.”

    For his seminal series The Hyena and Other Men, renowned South African photographer Pieter Hugo documented Nigeria’s ‘hyena men’, a group of travelling performers who work with hyenas, monkeys and snakes. In his 2009 monograph, Hugo describes his image-making process:

    “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.

    The spectacle caused by this group walking down busy market streets was overwhelming. I tried photographing this but failed, perhaps because I wasn't interested in their performances. I realised that what I found fascinating was the hybridisation of the urban and the wild, and the paradoxical relationship that the handlers have with their animals - sometimes doting and affectionate, sometimes brutal and cruel. I started looking for situations where these contrasting elements became apparent. I decided to concentrate on portraits. I would go for a walk with one of the performers, often just in the city streets, and, if opportunity presented itself, take a photograph…”

    Hugo is a multiple award winner, including the 2008 Discovery Award, Les Rencontres d’Arles and his works are represented in many prominent collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which holds another print of the present work.



Mallam Mantari Lamal with Mainasara, Nigeria from The Hyena and Other Men

Chromogenic print, flush-mounted.
152 x 152 cm (59 7/8 x 59 7/8 in.)
Signed, titled, dated and numbered AP 2/2 in ink on a label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

This work is AP2 from the sold-out edition of 7 + 2 AP.

£25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for £43,750

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Photographs
+ 44 207 318 4018


London 21 May 2015 4pm