"Hyena Men" is the name of South African Photographer, Pieter Hugo's series which portrays African people with their captured hyenas. Hugo traveled through Nigeria with street performers who had collectively used domesticated animals (monkeys, snakes and hyenas) to draw a crowd. His portraits can be the subject matter of many discussions as animal rights, outcast, economic survival and more but one thing he does ask himself is if he has the right ....
"to question and judge life style of people who simply do not have our luxuries."
I Find these images frightening but still wanting to take a closer look at what seems so bazzar. Pieter traveled with the group of handlers for a few weeks to get to know them and be able to document their lives but he found that portraits were the best way. When he asked them about how they felt about animal cruelty, they were puzzled by the question. That concern isn't even an issue.
His portraits are well composed but mostly the organic hues make the images more "untamed." I am impacted by the rich skin tones and specificity of the subject more then anything. Texture is so rich that it tends to make my eye unsettled wanting to look around more to see what else I can pick out from the background or forground.
Please check out the links below! There are many more photographs and the reading is quite compelling.
His work was on display at the Yossi Milo GAllery in New York City in 2008