June 25, 2012
" In this series ... the subjects are simply the photographer and his friends, who represent an array of ethnicities but are not particularly atypical, abnormal or 'unusual' in a genetic sense. Instead they are rendered unusually, portrayed in a heightened monotone with their skin transformed into a range of exaggerated black spots and dark tones. As Hugo explains it, 'The process used in making these pictures involves turning digital colour images black and white, while keeping the colour channels active. In this manner one can manipulate the colour channels and emphasise certain colours within the grey scale. Melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour, appears in two forms: pheomelanin (which appears as red), and eumelanin (which appears as a very dark, yellowish brown). In the case of these images, the red and yellow colour channels were darkened to a point where nearly all of their information was rendered as blacks and dark greys, and they were therefore brought to prominence.' Hence, within these photographs even the slightest pigmentation in light skin is converted into charcoal tones."
(Extract from 'Beholder', Aaron Schuman's essay in Pieter Hugo's monograph (Munich: Prestel, 2012) accompanying his retrospective opening at the Fotomuseum den Haag in March 2012.) from here.
Posted by Sughra Raza at 12:15 AM | Permalink