Photo of Megan Stewart
by Rick Guidotti
Photo of Tyler Kudej
by Rick Guidotti
Nevus Outreach is pleased to announce that New York-based award winning fashion photographer Rick Guidotti of Positive Exposure will capture images of people with congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN) for an artistic exhibit to premiere at the International Expert Meeting in Marseille France on September 28, 2013. “The project attempts to re-define beauty using people with nevi,”according to Mark Beckwith, CEO of Nevus Outreach.
Photographer Guidotti explains “In medical textbooks, children with a difference are seen as having a disease, a diagnosis first, not as people. On the street, people with differences are seen as ‘weird” and “strange”, and the way they are often treated by others is disturbing and unacceptable.”
It has always been about beauty for Rick Guidotti, who has worked in New York, Milan and Paris for a variety of high profile clients including Yves St Laurent, Revlon, L’Oreal, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and GQ. He took photographs of what were considered the world’s most beautiful people. “In fashion I was always frustrated because I was told who I had to photograph. I was always told who was beautiful.”
It became clear to Rick Guidotti that it was essential for people to understand and see the beauty in our shared humanity. The question remained how to get people to see those with differences not as victims, but as people, first and foremost. "The pity has to disappear. The fear has to disappear. Behavior has to change. These kids need to be seen as their parents see them, as their friends see them, as valuable and positive parts of society.”
The photos for the Nevus Outreach exhibit will give people permission to see and interpret beauty in its own right. Not to see beauty that is dictated by any society's idea of what is acceptable.
This ambitious project is being made possible by a generous gift from a woman with a daughter who has CMN. Rick joined the Nevus Outreach gathering in New York in January to begin taking photographs for the exhibit. There will be a second New York shoot in the spring. As time and scheduling permit, Rick will also be able to meet with people in cities where he will travel between now and September. These places and times are yet to be determined, and will be announced shortly.
As part of the worldwide Rare Disease Day celebration, Positive Exposure will be celebrating their 15th Anniversary of redefining beauty, along with the 5th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival in the Laurie M. Tisch Gallery at the JCC in Manhattan on Saturday March 9, 2013. Some of the photos of people with CMN from the first shoot will be on display at the party, including Megan Stewart and Tyler Kudej. Nevus Outreach CEO Mark Beckwith has been invited to speak on behalf of Positive Exposure’s newest Rare Disease Organization affiliation.
Guidotti quite poignantly assures anyone who will listen, “Beauty is not just on magazine covers.”
To get a real feel for Rick Guidotti and what he’s about, enjoy this great TED Talk, and view the Positive Exposure website. If you would like more information about how to become a part of this exhibit, or to attend the event in Manhattan, please contact the Nevus Outreach office.