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PIETER HUGO
[b. 1976] photographer who primarily works in portraiture
lf it's not essential with what you are showing, leave it out of the picture. - Pieter Hugo - 50 Contemporary Photographers You Should Know by Florian Heine, Brad Finger

I am looking because I am interested in looking. I want to look, and I want to look without apology. And with the intensity that I want to look with, I want to be looked back at. And if you can get that in a portrait or in a landscape, you have an energy. - Pieter Hugo - Hugo's view of people on the fringes of society is often voyeuristic.

I’m interested in photography because it sits somewhere between document and art. - Pieter Hugo

Photographs are like children, they grow, go about the world and no longer belong to you. - Pieter Hugo

One of the things intrinsic to the medium of photography is that it’s inherently voyeuristic, and that’s what gives the medium a lot of energy. But it also creates problems that you have to solve. - Pieter Hugo

Photography is finished. - Pieter Hugo

For me to work at all as a photographer, I have to be conscious always of the problems acquired in what I do. I have to be conscious, if you like, of the impossibility of photography. - Pieter Hugo

In the process of working in any medium, at some stage, you become aware of its limitations. For me it was realizing that photography could only describe the surface of things. It’s symbolic. It can’t do much more than that. - Pieter Hugo

It’s not that hard to learn how to shoot—the hardest thing is to find a voice. - Pieter Hugo

The picture takes 1/125th of a second. The photographer is always trying to compensate for that brevity, to extend the process. - Pieter Hugo

Are straight people only allowed to photograph straights, are lesbians only allowed to photograph lesbians? - Pieter Hugo

I’m quite a light person if you meet me but I’m quite heavy in my work, and in the process of making the picture you imbue that with a sense of gravity and urgency. - Pieter Hugo

I don’t think art has a responsibility to be pretty. - Pieter Hugo

My work used to be incredibly confrontational: I wanted to point at things and say to society, “Look, look!” I wanted people to feel uncomfortable and be aware of their hypocrisy. - Pieter Hugo

[Photography’s] true seduction lies in its foot in reality. It still has the pretense of being a quasi-document. - Pieter Hugo

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