What is it about?

“América Utópica” is an ongoing project by artist Karen Navarro that uses crowdsourced skin tones and data to create mixed-media demographic portraits. Ranging in color from the lightest blush to darkest umber, each square represents a participant's skin color.

Combining photography and text, Navarro visualizes data that speaks to race, migration, sense of belonging, and identity within digital and “real” communities. The work reflects on today's socio-political situation and makes reference to personal experiences as well. As an immigrant from Latin America and a descendant of Indigenous Peoples from the South, for Navarro, her work is a, “celebration of diversity, to reframe the representation of historically marginalized identities. The work aims to show the diversity of the United States, be a positive message of hope, and question the actual space that is given to people of color in society.”

Who can participate in the project?

Everyone can participate in the project regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, geographical location, gender identity, disability, economic status, and/or any other diverse background. 

Right now the project is focusing on the United States but in the future, it may expand to include other parts of the world.

How do I participate?

To take part in the project please click the submit button below and complete the form.

What artworks have you created and what was the inspiration behind them?

"Shine America 2043", 2021

"Shine America 2043” (2021) is a direct interpretation of the 2011 U.S Census data prediction, which states that all the non-white groups combined will be the majority by 2043; surpassing the white population in numbers and making up more than half of the U.S. population. Mirroring this data, I’ve created this color study mostly composed of skin complexion tones from people who self-identify as BIPOC and skin tones, minor in numbers, from people who self-identify as white. Each square represents the skin tone of a person who lives in the United States. Additionally, the participant’s first name is imprinted on each square. The work aims to show the diversity of the United States, to be a positive message of hope, and to question the actual space that is given to people of color in society.

Shine America 2043, 2021

Archival inkjet print, wood, neon, paint, and resin

45 × 85 × 5 in

“Mismo Barro” (Same Clay), 2023

“Mismo Barro” (Same Clay) is an artwork made out of clay and stones that draws inspiration from the Mapuche's cosmovision and use of stones.

For this work I combine the selected stones from a store bought bag with the stones made out of clay. The hand made rocks were painted with the skin tones collected from the open call. To speak about the extractivism that happens in Indigenous lands I’ve intentionally bought the stones from an American company that extracts them from Mexico.By exploring my ancestors' culture, and my American immigrant experience, I am creating connections between my identities in the present time. These connections reinforce my vision of a more just future.

Mismo Barro, 2023

Found stones, clay, magnets and flashe paint

12 x 186 in


Using Format