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Pieter Hugo
There's a Place in Hell for Me & My Friends

Photographs and text by Pieter Hugo

Design by Damien Poulain

Oodee, 2012

Edition of 1,000 copies

Hardcover with a tipped-in photo

144 pp., 96 b&w illustrations

235 x 282 mm

ISBN 978-0-9570389-2-9

Item #0090

1.230 0090 Sold Out

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2012 in Photo-eye by Anne Wilkes Tucker

Pieter Hugo’s There’s a Place in Hell for Me & My Friends is a series of close-up portraits of the artist and his friends, all of whom call South Africa home.

Through a digital process of converting colour images to black and white while manipulating the colour channels, Hugo emphasizes the pigment (melanin) in his sitters’ skins so they appear heavily marked by blemishes and sun damage. The resulting portraits are the antithesis of the airbrushed images that determine the canons of beauty in popular culture, and expose the contradictions of racial distinctions based on skin colour.

As the critic Aaron Schuman writes, “although at first glance we may look ‘black’ or ‘white’, the components that remain ‘active’ beneath the surface consist of a much broader spectrum. What superficially appears to divide us is in fact something that we all share, and like these photographs, we are not merely black and white – we are red, yellow, brown, and so on; we are all, in fact, coloured.”

More here:

Photo-eye (video review), It's Nice That (review), Le Journal de la Photographie

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