Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen is known for her fashion photography, however the influence of a childhood spent in Kenya permeates through her past and current body of work. Truth be told in recent years African photography can sometimes irritate my jaded eyes, but there is no denying her ability to capture the stunning shapes and colour that saturates everyday rural life. There is nothing stagnant or dull about Pikin Slee and I observed that maybe her real object of desire is not colour, landscape or portraiture, it’s geometry.
Unlike like many who use African photography to further exoticise or perpetuate cliched and inaccurate images, Sassen has a definite and sometimes intimate connection with her environment.
It’s telling that most of the images I have selected from her Pikin Slee speaks more about my need to look for beauty in the stereotype. My tastes have been shaped by the general consensus and sometimes it’s obvious, I can change that, but I won’t. It’s also worth noting that her current work is filled with the mundane. Favourites of mine are the banana leaves.