Pete and I were driving down Georgia Street in Vancouver yesterday afternoon, with the unusual luxury of a half hour for coffee before picking up the kids, when a large image of a black man with a hyena flashed by to my right. I glanced over to see that the Buschlen Mowatt Gallery had an exhibit by Pieter Hugo, the South African photographer I wrote about here. I could not believe our good fortune.
Moments later we found ourselves alone in the gallery, gazing at portraits from Hugo's The Hyena and other Men series. The subjects of the photographs are Nigerian men with hyenas and baboons. I've heard Hugo's work described as "a visual slap across the face", and the unusual subject matter, composition and colouring are certainly compelling. I had seen these images previously online, but standing in front of the massive (70" x 70") photographs was another experience altogether.
Pete and I were debating where we would hang one of these portraits. It would dwarf our living room, prove a bit imposing for the front entrance, and likely not put patients at ease over an exam table. But at 15,000 to 25,000 USD apiece, where to put the art is not really our first concern.
If you're interested in seeing the show, here is the contact information for the Vancouver Buschlen Mowatt Gallery.