Guy Tillim

South African, b. 1962

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Guy Tillim

South African, b. 1962

277
Followers
Biography

Considered one of South Africa’s leading photographers, Guy Tillim focuses his lens on Africa’s social and political terrain, capturing child soldiers in the Congo, refugees in Angola, and urban life in Johannesburg. Tillim explores not only places of crisis in Africa, but also captures quieter scenes—in post offices, schools, and hotels. His carefully composed images counter the drama usually found in photojournalism, expressing instead the complex realities and perceptions of Africa. In his series “Avenue Patrice Lumumba” (2007–08), Tillim documented the many streets in Africa named after Patrice Lumumba, one of the continent’s first elected African leaders of modern times, who was later murdered. Depicting modernist buildings in various states of decay, Tillim suggests the failed idealism of Africa’s independence movement. “Patrice Lumumba’s dream, his nationalism, is discernible in the structures, if one reads certain clues,” Tillim has said, “as is the death of his dream, in these de facto monuments.”

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Career Highlights
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Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 6 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta
Biography

Considered one of South Africa’s leading photographers, Guy Tillim focuses his lens on Africa’s social and political terrain, capturing child soldiers in the Congo, refugees in Angola, and urban life in Johannesburg. Tillim explores not only places of crisis in Africa, but also captures quieter scenes—in post offices, schools, and hotels. His carefully composed images counter the drama usually found in photojournalism, expressing instead the complex realities and perceptions of Africa. In his series “Avenue Patrice Lumumba” (2007–08), Tillim documented the many streets in Africa named after Patrice Lumumba, one of the continent’s first elected African leaders of modern times, who was later murdered. Depicting modernist buildings in various states of decay, Tillim suggests the failed idealism of Africa’s independence movement. “Patrice Lumumba’s dream, his nationalism, is discernible in the structures, if one reads certain clues,” Tillim has said, “as is the death of his dream, in these de facto monuments.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 6 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta