Rick is a long time friend of the HPS Network. He has shown his photography at our conference many times. We all love him. Here's a story in a Richmond, Va. newspaper about a presentation he gave there. Currently, his work is in a gallery in the area for anyone who's close enough to Richmond to make the drive.
Rethinking genetic disorders
Tammie Smith / Times-Dispatch
Rick Guidotti stands before an image of a young woman with albinism, a genetic disorder that causes hair, skin and eyes to lack pigmentation.
SLIDESHOW:People who embrace their genetic difference.
By Tammie Smith
Published: January 24, 2009
When photographer Rick Guidotti started looking through medical books for information about the genetic disorder albinism, all the images he saw depicted sadness and lifelessness.
People with the condition lack pigment in their hair, skin and eyes. Many grow up teased and shunned. Pictures often show them unsmiling, eyes downcast and hunched over.
It was a sharp contrast to the laughing, confident young woman with albinism whom Guidotti, a fashion photographer at the time, had seen at a New York bus stop. The chance encounter was what sent him looking for more information on the disorder.
"I had always kind of worked within the parameters of the beauty standards," said Guidotti, explaining that fashion editors for the magazines for which he worked dictated what was in that season. "As a visual artist, I saw beauty outside of that standard."
Since then, Guidotti has taken hundreds of images of people with albinism and other genetic disorders in a quest to raise awareness and promote acceptance of differences. He has partnered with many of the advocacy groups pushing for more research on genetic disorders and has provided images for use in medical and nursing education.
Guidotti talked to science students at Richmond's John Marshall High School and to nursing and medical students at Virginia Commonwealth University this week about his work and embracing diversity. An exhibition of his work is at Art Works in Richmond through Feb. 22.
To read more, go to: http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/lifestyles/health_med_fit/health/article/HP-GENE24_20090123-211614/187291/