The Beautiful Gene – Marine Rosso

The Beautiful Gene

Marine Rosso


€29 / 136pp


ISBN 978-88-98764-04-4

Those of us with red hair are known for standing out, yet research by Cyros International, the world’s largest sperm bank, suggests that fewer and fewer people wishing to conceive through artificial insemination want the redhead gene. As such, in September 2011, Cyros stopped accepting red haired donors, with supply far exceeding the demand. Fascinated by this, Marine Rosso acted as a “conservation geneticist”, classifying the genetic variations of redheads through 48 categories. The resulting book is very well designed, with the people depicted, depersonalised and identified only through their classification. It brings to mind looking through a catalogue from a sperm bank. It is difficult to feel attached to the people that Rosso has photographed, but that is not the point. Her goal is more to highlight the diversity within this genetic mutation, along with our own shallowness.

Reviewed by James Brown
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