Crowdsourced Digital-Based Art Project by Karen Navarro Illustrates the Diversity of America

Crowdsourced Digital-Based Art Project by Karen Navarro Illustrates the Diversity of America

Artist Karen Navarro uses images of crowdsourced skin tones and data to create mixed-media demographic portraits that are central to her ongoing art project entitled “América Utópica. The public is invited to participate by submitting digital photographs of their skin (arm, hand, or face) at https://www.karennavarroph.com/home. Anyone can submit regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, geographic location, gender identity, disability, economic status, and/or any other diverse background.

Karen Navarro

SEE HER EXHIBITION! Check out her Houston edition of “América Utópica” viewable online or in person by appointment from May 14, 2022 through June 26, 2022. A focal point of the exhibition is a mural installation designed to depict the diversity of Houston entitled “Hechos del Mismo Barro (We are Made of the Same Clay),” an abstract collage work of color squares ranging in hues from light tans to warm browns, blush pinks to dark browns. Hundreds of photographs of skin submitted by participants will be rendered by the artist into four-inch square tiles and arranged in order of how they were received to avoid hierarchy. By reducing skin tones to colored squares, the artist looks to convey the similarities and erase the differences as people. Navarro will replicate this work in different cities as the project expands nationwide.

Also on view is her neon abstract large-scale work “Shine America 2043” and a LED-lit three-dimensional mixed-media artwork made using obsidian stone called “Somos Millones (We are Millions).” To tie in her own life experience and connect with her Indigenous identity, the artist uses language and specific materials from Latin America, too.

ATTEND THE VIRTUAL OPENING & ONLINE ARTIST TALK: Join Navarro in conversation on Zoom with curator Allison Glenn for a virtual exhibition opening and an online artist talk on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 12:00 PM (Central). The artist will discuss her multidisciplinary practice and share insights into her artistic process and her work, which speaks about race, migration, sense of belonging, identity within communities, and exploring her own ancestral Indigenous culture.

To attend via Zoom, RSVP on Facebook or register on Zoom. To visit the exhibition in person before it closes, request an appointment by sending an email to info@karennavarroph.com“América Utópica: Houston” is funded in part by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Karen Navarro is an Argentine-born multidisciplinary artist currently living and working in Houston. Navarro works on a diverse array of mediums that includes photography, collage, and sculpture. Her image-based work and multimedia practice investigate the intersections of identity, self-representation, race, gender, and belonging. Navarro has won numerous awards and grants for her mixed-media photography and has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. To learn more, visit www.karennavarroph.com.