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For as long as humans have walked the Earth, groups
of people deemed lesser or abnormal have been
shunned or scrutinized for their differences. Portrait
photographer Gustavo Lacerda has set out to capture
the true humanity of one such group: Albinos in his
homeland of Brazil. Albinos are born with a melanin
defect, causing a loss of pigment in the hair, eyes and
skin—often resulting in an increased risk for skin cancer and vision problems. Lacerda found that he first
needed to gain the trust of the albino people he wanted to photograph, as many are no stranger to scrutiny
from outsiders. For each of his portraits, Lacerda created a calm atmosphere with muted backgrounds to
highlight the subjects’ gestures and expressions. People from all walks of life participated in the series, from
two-year-old twins to a Girl Scout to adult siblings.
Lacerda focused most on accentuating the beauty,
grace and fragility of a group of people who are so
often misunderstood and ostracized for being different.
“Albinos” opens at the Catherine Edelman Gallery on
November 8 and is on view through January 2014.
Gustavo Lacerda’s “Albinos”
on View in Chicago
Above: “Marcus, Andreza and Andre,” 2011.