Interviews

Changing How We See Physical Difference: Meet Rick Guidotti, Photographer on a Mission

24 Feb 2015 by Jason's Connection
Rick Giudotti photographing Jayne from the film, On Beauty

In this interview, photographer Rick Guidotti discusses with Jason’s Connection his work with Positive Exposure. Rick’s work transforms how we define beauty, and empowers people with physical differences.

It started with an encounter with a girl with albinism, his own efforts to learn more about her, and the negative images of people with albinism he found.

 “I’m not going to solve the problems of the world with my camera, but we’re gonna start the conversation.”

Interview With Rick Guidotti

HE ALSO TALKS ABOUT THE FILM, ON BEAUTY, which will be shown as part of this year’s REELABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL IN CINCINNATI, OHIO. From Emmy-nominated filmmaker Joanna Rudnick and Chicago’s Kartemquin Films comes On Beauty, a story about challenging norms and redefining beauty. The film follows award-winning fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world when he grew frustrated with having to work within the restrictive parameters of the industry’s standard of beauty. After a chance encounter with a young woman who had the genetic condition albinism, Rick re-focused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows to change the way we see and experience beauty. At the center of On Beauty are two of Rick’s photo subjects: Sarah, who left public school for homeschool after being bullied so harshly for the Sturge-Weber birthmark on her face and brain; and Jayne, who lives in Eastern Africa where witch doctors hunt people with albinism to sell their body parts and the society is blind to their unique health and safety needs. Rick’s photos challenge both mainstream media’s narrow scope of beauty and the dehumanizing black-bar convention of medical textbooks.

For more information on Positive Exposure, please visit: http://positiveexposure.org/about-the-program-2/rick-guidotti/

For more information about the film, On Beauty, please visit: http://www.kartemquin.com/films/on-beauty

On Beauty will be shown at the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival on Wednesday, March 4 at  7:30pm, at The Neon, Dayton, OH, on Thursday, March 5 at 7pm at the Contemporary Arts Center, and on Friday, March 6 at 1:30pm and 3:15pm at the University of Cincinnati, Vontz Center for Molecular Studies. For more information on the festival, please visit: http://www.cincyra.org/

For a downloadable podcast of this interview, please visit: http://jasonsconnection.podbean.com/e/meet-rick-giudotti-photographer-on-a-mission/


Rick Guidotti

Rick Guidotti has spent the past fifteen years working internationally with advocacy organizations/NGOs, medical schools, universities and other educational institutions to effect a sea-change in societal attitudes towards individuals living with genetic difference; his work has been published in newspapers, magazines and journals as diverse as Elle, GQ, People, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, The Lancet, Spirituality and Health, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly and Life Magazine. Rick is the founder and director of Positive Exposure, an innovative arts, education and advocacy organization, working with individuals living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral difference. Positive Exposure utilizes the visual arts to significantly impact the fields of genetics, mental health and human rights. Rick Guidotti and Positive Exposure continue to celebrate the richness and beauty of human diversity.