Cape Town – Cape Town photographer Pieter Hugo is a major creative influence on Beyoncé’s latest video.
Hugo’s photographic art was used as inspiration for the look in Beyoncé’s latest video Run the World (Girls) from her new album.
Hugo, who regularly exhibits in the Stevenson Gallery in Woodstock, is known for a compelling series of photographs of Gadawa Kuran or hyena handlers of Lagos, Nigeria.
These men, who are seen in colourful costumes with hyenas on chains in the streets, are roving street performers who make money by entertaining passersby and selling traditional medicine.
‘I feel flattered’
Hugo’s work, including his work of these street artists, is currently on display together two other South African photographers Jodi Bieber and Graeme Williams, in the V&A Museum in London.
In Beyoncé’s new video she squats in a trendy white creation with two hyenas in chains.
She is surrounded by women dressed in what looks like fashionable military gear. The director of the video is Francis Lawrence, known for his latest film Water for Elephants.
“Imitation is a large compliment. I feel flattered. I think the men would’ve felt flattered as well, but will wonder why they’ve not been paid, “Hugo said laughing in response.
Beyoncé is not the first musician that has been inspired by Hugo’s work. In Australian Nick Cave’s latest video as a member of the group Grinderman, 20 works from Hugo’s Nollywood series are used, and Hugo accidentally noticed it because he is a big fan of Cave’s music.
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