Guy Tillim

photo of Guy Tillim

Guy Tillim was born in Johannesburg in 1962. He started photographing professionally in 1986 and joined Afrapix, a collective of South African photographers, with whom he worked closely until 1990. As a freelance photographer in South Africa, he worked for the local and foreign media, including Reuters between 1986 and 1988 and Agence France Presse in 1993 and 1994. Tillim has received many awards for his work, including the Prix SCAM (Société civile des auteurs multimédia) Roger Pic Prize in 2002, the Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Award in 2003, and the 2004 Daimler/Chrysler Award for South African Photography.
Tillim often creates grave portraits of contemporary African cities. Primarily working in sub-Saharan Africa, he has made several bodies of work that examine the legacy of colonialism, especially as exhibited in architecture. For his series Jo’burg, Tillim roamed Johannesburg’s dense and decaying neighborhood of Hillbrow, an area dramatically affected by social and political changes during South Africa’s transition out of apartheid. Crowded, dirty, and seemingly uninhabitable, the old apartment buildings and crumbling skyscrapers in Tillim’s images reveal living conditions for contemporary Africans that are nearly apocalyptical. Initially a “white-only” area, Hillbrow began, in the 1970s, to accommodate waves of poor people from the townships and immigrants from surrounding war-torn and economically challenged African nations. Parts of Johannesburg, which was once considered “the New York of Africa,” are now the nation’s most dangerous and feared neighborhoods. In Tillim’s images, we see a startling portrait of modernism where the promise of concrete, steel, and glass has given way to poverty, crime, and a broken social contract. His work is striking and has gained him a multitude of accolades as well as international shows.
In 2005 he won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award for Jo’burg. He has exhibited extensively around the globe, including shows in Rome, Brazil, Austria, Germany, and his native Johannesburg. Twenty-five of his pieces from the Avenue Patrice Lumumba project were on view at Lannan Foundation Gallery in 2011. In July 2016 Tillim’s work was included in Lannan Foundation’s exhibition (Infra) Structure.


Artworks



Joburg The View From The Top Of The Mariston Guy Tillim

Jo’burg: The view from the top of the Mariston Hotel looking south, 2004

Size: 16 1/2 x 23 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Joburg Cape Agulhas Esselen Street Guy Tillim

Jo’burg: Cape Agulhas, Esselen Street, Hillbrow, 2004

Size: 16 1/2 x 23 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Joburg San Jose Olivia Street Berea Guy Tillim

Jo’burg: San Jose, Olivia Street, Berea, 2004

Size: 16 1/2 x 23 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Joburg Als Tower A Block Of Flats Guy Tillim

Jo’burg: Al’s Tower, a block of flats on Harrow Road, Berea, overlooking the Ponte building, 2004

Size: 19 1/2 x 28 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Congo Democratic Supporters Jean Pierre Bemba Mock President Kabila Guy Tillim

Congo Democratic: Supporters of Jean-Pierre Bemba mock President Kabila, calling him an egg seller

Congo Democratic: Supporters of Jean-Pierre Bemba mock President Kabila, calling him an egg seller (in reference to Kabila’s statement that he could not take part in early election debates because he was balancing the delicate affairs of state on his head, as an egg seller would balance his wares)

Size: 35 3/4 x 52 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Congo Democratic Supporters  Jean Pieere Bemba Line Road Guy Tillim

Congo Democratic: Supporters of Jean-Pierre Bemba line the road as he walks to a rally

Congo Democratic: Supporters of Jean-Pierre Bemba line the road as he walks to a rally from the airport, Kinshasa, July 2006

Size: 35 3/4 x 52 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Joburg Manhattan Court Plein Street Guy Tillim

Jo’burg: Manhattan Court, Plein Street, 2004

Size: 19 1/2 x 28 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Congo Democratic Statue Patrice Lumumba Guy Tillim

Congo Democratic: A statue of Patrice Lumumba erected by Laurent Kabila and an unfinished tower

Congo Democratic: A statue of Patrice Lumumba erected by Laurent Kabila and an unfinished tower built during the Mobutu years, look down on Jean-Pierre Bemba supporters as they make their way to a rally, Kinshasa, July 2006

Size: 35 3/4 x 52 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Congo Democratic Lumumbiste Party Supporters Prepare Guy Tillim

Congo Democratic: Lumumbiste Party supporters prepare for a meeting, pinning up pictures of Patrice

Congo Democratic: Lumumbiste Party supporters prepare for a meeting, pinning up pictures of Patrice Lumumba and their leader Antoine Gizenga, who was a deputy to Lumumba after the first elections in 1962

Size: 35 3/4 x 52 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection

Congo Democratic Presidential Candidate Jean Pierre Bemba Guy Tillim

Congo Democratic: Presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba enters a stadium in central Kinshasa flan

Congo Democratic: Presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba enters a stadium in central Kinshasa flanked by his bodyguards, July 2006

Size: 35 3/4 x 52 1/4 inches
Medium: Archival pigment ink on 300g cotton paper

Current Lannan Art Collection



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