Viviane Sassen uses bold, graphic shadows, vivid color and place to create images full of symbols and ambiguity. She obscures faces in deep shadows or turns them away and by doing so, she withholds essential elements which allow the viewer to identify with the subject. “If I were to take pictures of people, of their faces it would be much more about that person,” says Sassen. Rather than identifying with any singular person, she is interested in something more universal, an idea, an Archetype. Sassen requires the viewer to assign a narrative, to create the “other.” She spins curiosities into the pictures: a green woman, the body as sculpture, cut-out forms. Paint is used to transform her subjects, putting them into a role as theatre. Manipulating and shaping the body, overlapping limbs, weaving hair and melding torsos, she acts as sculptor.
— Caroline Smith for TIME