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The Huffington Post  |  By Posted:

Pieter Hugo's Devastating Photos Depict Fractured Realities Of South Africa (NSFW)

"South Africa is such a fractured, schizophrenic, wounded and problematic place," photographer Pieter Hugo said of his most recent series. "It is a very violent society and the scars of colonialism and Apartheid run deep. Issues of race and cultural custodianship permeate every aspect of society here and the legacy of Apartheid casts a long shadow."

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Ann Sallies, who worked for my parents and helped raise their children, Douglas, 2013

Hugo is a Cape Town-born, self-taught photographer who picked up his first camera at ten years old. Since then he has captivated the world with his painfully visceral photographs, capturing the truth lurking equally in the banal and the surreal. Whether shooting a cow's carcass spilling blood and guts or a young street performer in costume garb, Hugo captures a schizophrenic reality composed, in part, of nightmares.

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Daniel Richards, Milnerton, 2013

In the recent past Hugo has taken his camera to distant locales including Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia, but for his newest exhibition "Kin," Hugo returns home to South Africa. Hugo discussed his homeland's influence on his work in an interview with Vice:

"I grew up in the middle-upper class, with fairly liberal sentiments, but to me it was always very obvious that the society I grew up in was not ideal and needed to change. Since I was a kid it was apparent it was going to change -- it wasn't sustainable the way it was going on. My work is deeply tied to my experience growing up in South Africa. It's very hard to separate that, as much as I'd like to think it's based on completely personal prerogatives, it's still tied up in the topography of where I grew up and the constant negotiation of that space. It's a problematic place."

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Daniela Beukman, Milnerton, 2013

"Kin" is composed of both the political and the personal, combining fraught farmlands and abandoned mining areas with psychologically charged portraits of strangers. Capturing the economic fragility and racial tension that plague his homeland, Hugo still manages to find beauty in the most devastating of spectacles. "I have deeply mixed feelings about being here. I am interested in the places where these narratives collide," Hugo told Yossi Milo Gallery. "'Kin' is an attempt at evaluating the gap between society’s ideals and its realities."

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Green Point Common, Cape Town, 2013

Pieter Hugo's "Kin" will show from September 6 until October 19, 2013 at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York. Scroll down for more images, some of which contain nudity and are NSFW.

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In the home of Meshack Molatudi Robinson Lake Harmony Mine Randfontein, 2012

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Darren and Tara Durban, 2013

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Meriam ‘Mary’ Tlali, who spent her entire adult life working as a maid for my grandmother, Kroonstad, 2011

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Ms. Mabel Tsoka Langaville Ekhuruleni, 2012

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Rina Veldsman, Monte Rosa Old Age Home, Cape Town, 2013

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At a traffic intersection, Johannesburg, 2011

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Samuel Nkosomzi, CapeTown, 2007

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Shaun Oliver, Cape Town, 2011

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Aerial View of Diepsloot, 2013

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