Photographer Sanne de Wilde draws a parallelism between albinos and light in her photo series. Light leaves a permanent imprint on an albino’s skin. Pictures of albinos thus highlights their ashen beauty, a trait that makes them stand out, while also making them obscured, consumed by the light.
Albinism is a congenital disorder wherein the total or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes occurs because of the absence or defect of tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme essential in the production of melanin. Albinism takes place from the inheritance of recessive gene alleles and is known to afflict all vertebrates, including humans..
In these photos, de Wilde attempts to present her subjects in “a fragile physical state, an unwanted mask.” She also explores them as an intense metaphor for the ‘other. She tried to explain the concept for her Snow White series saying, ”The ‘other’ consumed by its ‘mask.’ The ‘other’ defined by physical features which are determined at birth, not by choice. The ‘other’ that has the possibility of turning an inherent fragility into a visual strength.”
De Wilde tries to ascertain and envisage how absorption with the ‘other’ can reflect our own intentions. She continued to elucidate, saying “How the ‘other’ can become an interpretation of the maker’s view, a reflection of a voyeuristic society. In short, I try to show how the subject itself looks back at (and reflects on) us.”
Thus, for de Wilde albinos turn into a metaphor, symbolic of stereotypes. “They amplify the flawed idea of “human weaknesses and physical fragility but also that of (un)earthly, breathtaking beauty.”
Born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1987, de Wilde graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Photography a KASK (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) in Ghent with honors, in June 2012. She is currently working as freelancer for ‘De Volkskrant’ and lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Her collective works can be viewed here.