Queen Elizabeth II
Mao Zedong
Marilyn Monroe
The artwork as featured on Casa VOGUE (Brazilian edition of Vogue Living)

What If ? – The Portrait Collection

Blacks can straighten their hair, dye it blonde, use contact lenses, because it’s “interesting” to look like a white person. And the opposite process? How does that work? There is nothing degrading in that.

An open wound in mankind’s history, which never seems to heal. An issue so outdated and that still lingers, proving how primitive we still are. I know that in heaven there is neither racism nor racists. These are mundane and foul things.

In a recent trip to a natural Eden bathed by the Caribbean sea, I stayed on a resort that caters to visitors from all around the world looking for fun, rest, and mainly, comfort and special treatment. In this tourist universe, there’s still the “Royal Service”, where a prosperous caste of white men is tirelessly served by a qualified team of blacks. Beautiful black men and women, with bright eyes and healthy disposition, many coming from Haiti or African countries.

The situation becomes uncomfortable when we realize that some of these “rich white men” treat the employees as robots, or “service machines”, to the extent of not even greeting them when entering the space where they will be served.

In which point in our ancient history it was established that one race was superior to another? What thorn is this, firmly lodged in our society that until now hasn’t been pulled? What kind of bigotry is this, from those who claim to be superior? Who carries such arrogance, among us from the human race?

It’s astonishing that we still confront this cancer that mixes discrimination, indifference and suffering. I believe that the main reason for such intolerance is fear. People in general are afraid of their own feelings and of everything that is unknown. When we put someone in a “inferior” position from ours, we feel privileged, and that is more than regretful, it’s shameful.

What if all of us were black?

Thinking about this, we created a portrait series of famous personalities, imagined as if they were black. Chiefs of State, celebrities and icons of our culture compose the experiment WHAT IF – The Portrait Collection

The collection website can be viewed at www.albus.com.br/whatif/

The idea came from Henrique Steyer as he returned from his recent trip to the Dominican Republic. The portraits were created alongside designer Felipe Rijo, photomanipulation specialist.