Texas A&M University presents Karen Navarro, “The Constructed Self” as part of the 2022 FotoFest Biennial, “If I Had a Hammer.”
The show is currently on view and runs until Oct. 27, 2022.
You are invited to the artist’s talk and reception.
Artist talk: Wed. Oct. 5th 3-4 pm.
Reception: Wed. Oct. 5th 4-6 pm.
789 Ross Street
3137 TAMU Langford, Building A
College Station, TX 77843
The FotoFest Biennial 2022 takes place on September 24 – November 6, 2022 in Houston, Texas at Art Alley at Sawyer Yards in Arts District Houston and throughout the city of Houston.
Foto Fest exhibitions are free and open to the public.
Karen Navarro’s work is featured in this issue of EXIT examining portrait typologies. Read below for a description of the issue:
There are hundreds, thousands and millions of portraits floating around in our individual and collective memories: portraits from the history of art; portraits of famous people; of friends from yesterday, today and every future; of my family and all the families that ever existed; of delinquents in millions of police mugshots in every country in the world; everyday selfies; portraits of weddings, baptisms and birthday parties; of all the dead people we did not want to let go of completely… EXIT 87 Portrait Typologies is, precisely, an issue that brings together portraits from their widest diversity.
Fragmentation in portrait is present in Karen Navarro’s project, while Humberto Rivas brings us back to a more classical, black & white, portrait.
Central theme artists: Roger Ballen, Nancy Burson, Germán Gómez, Pierre Gonnord, Katy Grannan, Pieter Hugo, Bill Jacobson, Juan Rodrigo Llaguno, Nikki S. Lee, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Hellen Van Meene, Nelson Morales, Zwelethy Mthethwa, Karen Navarro, Catherine Opie, Humberto Rivas, Carlo Van de Roer, Thomas Ruff, August Sander, Andrés Serrano.
“Argentine photographer Karen Navarro is an artist with a multidisciplinary background, mainly in photography and sculpture. Over the years, she has focused on topics such as identity and belonging, and is very good at creating portraits.
A few years ago, Navarro’s series “The Constructed Self” captivated me with its flamboyant colors. In my opinion, this series of portraits not only has aesthetic value but also triggers viewers to think about personal identity, self-expression and the image of people in the current social media age. Navarro tries to expand the boundaries of portrait photography through the combination of two-dimensional photography and three-dimensional sculpture.
As a young artist, Navarro’s work received worldwide attention. She was shortlisted for The 2020 Photo London Emerging Photographer of the Year Award and awarded The Houston Artadia fellowship. Her works have been exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston (CAMH), Lawndale Art Center, Elisabet Ney Museum, Melquig Fair in Amsterdam, Netherlands
(Melkweg Expo), Tigre, Argentina, etc., and published in international journals such as “Art News”, “The Guardian”, “Rolling Stone” (Italy) and “Vogue”. —Veronica Sanchis
América Utópica on Glasstire, Art Dirt podcast: “Watching the five-minute tour that Karen Navarro did, which is posted on Glasstire by the way, she’s describing her own relationship to racial identity not being white but also not really feeling ownership over having a darker complexion. It seems like in making the work she was trying to get a consensus or like looking for input from a greater audience like what is racial identity. The work is this beautiful grid patchwork of variations of skin tone and then the neon words America posted in front of it. And, it absolutely has a flag-like quality.” —William Sarradet.
Click here to listen to the podcast.
The Constructed Self is a collection of 14 puzzling portraits which utilise collage to represent the crossover of multiple themes that work to form our definition of identity. This body of work has been widely exhibited as physical sculptures and is now making its way onto the blockchain as digital assets. The artwork addresses self-representation, race, gender and belonging within first, second, and third-generation American immigrants.
4 pieces within the collection of 14 use a GIF format to introduce you to multiple configurations of the portrait. The GIFS swiftly flick through alignments resulting in the viewer pondering the permanence of identity. The primal goal of the project is to encourage the viewer to challenge their own biases by boldly highlighting the complexities that combine to make any given identity. The combinations are vast, which defines you?
Early investors will also receive an archive-quality physical print. Presale reservations for this collection are now open.
Virtual Opening and Artist Talk
Saturday, May 14 @ 12 noon (Central)
Join artist Karen Navarro in conversation with curator Allison Glenn for the virtual opening of América Utópica as she shares insight into her process of creating artwork and discusses her multidisciplinary practice that explores themes of race, migration, sense of belonging, and identity.
América Utópica is a visual art exhibition that features Navarro’s mixed-media “portraits,” including her neon abstract work, Shine America 2043. For this show, the Houston-based, Argentina-born artist also created a mural installation and made a LED-lit three-dimensional mixed-media artwork using obsidian stone called Somos Milliones (We are Millions).
Through a combination of photography, data, and text, Navarro creates her “portraits” using digital images of skin tones submitted by the public, ranging in hues from light tan, warm browns, or blush pinks to dark brown.
Register here to attend this virtual opening and artist talk via Zoom on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 12 noon (Central).
NOTE: This exhibition will remain online until the closing date of Sunday, June 26, 2022. To visit the exhibition in person before it closes, request an appointment by sending an email to email@example.com.
In partnership with IKE Smart City, the City of Houston unveiled the first in a series of digital interactive, wayfinding kiosks called IKE (Interactive Kiosk Experience) at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, February 7, 2022, adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center on the corner of Walker Street and Avenida De Las Americas. With Mayor Sylvester Turner, Councilmembers, participant artist Karen Navarro and many other City stakeholders in attendance, the event marked the launch of a City-wide initiative to build smart city infrastructure that enhances the pedestrian experience for residents and visitors, while adding vibrancy to Houston’s urban landscape.
The interactive kiosk displays works from Navarro’s series Ámerica Útopica and The Constructed Self. When touching the screen a QR code appears next to her piece “Shine America 2043” and invites people to take part in her project by submitting a form and an image. The artworks were curated by Allison Glenn, critically acclaimed curator recognized for her powerful work in merging art and public spaces.
Navarro was awarded the Support for Artists and Creative Individuals (SACI) grant to continue developing her work America Utópica.
The grant provides funds of $15,000 for specific projects that create and present new works of art or complete work already in progress throughout the city of Houston. SACI grants are funded by the City of Houston via the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT).
CLICK HERE to learn more about the project.
(Houston, TX | November 11, 2021) – Artadia, a nonprofit grant making organization and nationwide community of visual artists, curators, and patrons, is pleased to announce that Verónica Gaona, Jessica Carolina González, Robert Hodge, Cindee Travis Klement, Karen Navarro, and Preetika Rajgariah have been selected as the 2021 Houston Artadia Awards Finalists.
This year’s Finalists jurors were Natalie Dupêcher, Assistant Curator of Modern Art, the Menil Collection; María Elena Ortiz, Curator, the Pérez Art Museum Miami; and Jami Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art, Hood Museum of Art. Click here for full press release.
“WHETHER IT BE IT THROUGH A STAGED OR DOCUMENTARY LENS, women have harnessed the power of photography and created their own narratives. From Cindy Sherman’s imaginative self-portraits to Deana Lawson’s celebrated depictions of the African diaspora, portrait photography, in particular, has been core to keeping file and capturing the essence of an image’s subject.
Here are three women artists in Houston that might change the way you understand portraiture.
Argentine artist Karen Navarro uses portraiture to examine identity as a social and cultural construct. She pushes beyond the conventions of classic portraiture by deconstructing and reassembling images to create a collage effect. Her most recent series El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos (Belonging in Modern Times), explores the way social media impacts our self-perception. The printed photographs are embossed with words of popular internet hashtags. “ Amarie Gipson from Houstonia Magazine
The Constructed Self was chosen as one of the Top 10 in the LensCulture Critics’ Choice 2021. How were the Top Ten chosen? Photographers who were selected by more than one critic or had the highest cumulative ratings of all submissions became the Top Ten. They will each receive a $1000 grant in recognition of their work in addition to having their work published in a photobook and being permanently exhibited on LensCulture website.
“Karen Navarro’s practice explores ideas of selfhood as a social and cultural construct. By transforming two-dimensional prints into sculptural objects, Navarro at once dismantles the essentialist idea of fixed identities while photographically offering her subjects the opportunity to reconstruct their own through her playful and kinetic process. Employing vibrant colors and patterns and geometric constellations, Navarro’s work mimics the shape-shifting nature of identity.” – Alona Pardo
“Fragment” has been shortlisted for The Royal Photographic Society IPE 163. Over 4000 photographers submitted work to the International Photography Exhibition open-call during 2021. Explore a selection of images from the shortlists here.
Artpace San Antonio announced that Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City Through Mutated Lenses will be on view at Artpace from July 29–November 21, 2021. Originally exhibited at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Slowed and Throwed is the first museum exhibition with a conceptual focus on the late Houston hip hop legend DJ Screw. The exhibition explores visual arts practices that parallel the musical methods of this innovative DJ and feature unconventional photography and new media works by artists with personal ties to Texas, including B. Anele, Rabéa Ballin, Tay Butler, Jimmy Castillo, Jamal Cyrus, Robert Hodge, Shana Hoehn, Tomashi Jackson, Ann Johnson, Devin Kenny, Liss LaFleur, Karen Navarro, Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud, Sondra Perry, and Charisse Pearlina Weston. The exhibition will open at Artpace with an in-person reception on Thursday, July 29, from 6–9pm. The reception is free and open to the public. More information about the exhibition, such as opening reception details, programming, etc. will be announced at a later date. Please visit Artpace.org to stay informed.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH)’s show Slowed and Throwed featured in Travel & Leisure Magazine this month.
THE CONSTRUCTED SELF 04/30/2021 - 06/25/2021 at Foto Relevance 4411 Montrose Boulevard, Suite C Houston, TX 77006
Karen Navarro’s The Constructed Self is the Houston-based photographer and multimedia artist’s first solo exhibition at Foto Relevance. A vivid and even more tactile expansion of the artist’s earlier portfolio El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos (Belonging in Modern Times), Navarro’s The Constructed Selfrealizes meditations on self-representation and identity through dynamic photosculpture configurations. Disrupting photography’s traditional two-dimensional presentation, these colorful new works come assembled in a multitude of ways—some stacked and spinning, others paneled and puzzled together. These geometric complexities illustrate the abilities we all have to reorder and rearrange the many facets of our public-facing identities.
Karen’s new work“Shine America 2043” will debut at the Holocaust Museum’ show Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict .
The show opens on April 30, 2021. Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict will explore themes of social justice and human rights through 100 artworks of Houston Latinx artists. The multi-media exhibition will be a platform that examines issues that impact the community, fosters dialogue on difficult questions, and ultimately empowers social change through art. Click here for more info.
The Constructed Self series selected as finalist and juror’s pick by the art director of Harper’s magazine, Kathryn Humphries in the Lensculture Art Photography Award. “I was drawn to Karen Navarro’s work because of the dialogue it encourages between the subjects, the artist, and the audience. The sculptural and collage elements of the work allow for the reimagining of each piece– they can be observed from different viewpoints, as well as reassembled. The palettes, large scale, and use of hashtags also provoke questions about representation and categorization. We are asked to consider who informs these decisions and which social constructs are at work in the process.” Kathryn Humphries.
“The Argentine artist, considered one of the major emerging talents in international photography, has developed some projects related to the theme of identity, self-representation and belonging” by Manuelaanamaria Accinno
Read the full article here
Interview by Liz Sales
“Hanging from the ceiling of Karen Navarro’s studio is a photographic portrait of a young woman printed in strips onto horizontal wooden slats strung together to create a mobile. Each slat in this kinetic photographic sculpture seems to have the freedom to rotate independently. So, while the actual image remains the same, the viewer’s perception of it is subject to change.
This mobile is a piece in the artist’s ongoing series, The Constructed Self, for which she cut and reassembled photographic portraits to build collages and sculptures. Navarro, an Argentinian artist, based in Houston, Texas, has created these dimensional portraits, with pieces that can be rearranged and displayed in a variety of ways to express the relationship between identity and perception.
In this interview for LensCulture, she speaks to Liz Sales about her inspiration to make work addressing identity, the material nature of her working process and changing sense of self.”
To read more click here
Photo Vogue Festival projections featuring “The Constructed Self” project that was selected as finalist for the PHmuseum 2020 Women Photographers Grant
View the exhibition here
Collect & Support Latin American Photography
“Fragment, 2019” is part of the LATINAMERICANA fine art print sale by PHmuseum. 42 Latin American photographers were selected to participate in the limited edition fine art sale that runs only for 15 days. This is a great opportunity to acquire a print of “Fragment, 2019” and the first time to be on sale in this format.
About the initiative: “Way back in 2012 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, we started PHmuseum with the dream and ambition of creating a democratic space to access contemporary photography and its language. It is thank to the passion and support of the Latin American community that it all started. This is why our first limited edition print sale is dedicated to celebrate and discover the photography of the continent.” Giuseppe Oliverio
PHmuseum announced the 27 finalists of the PHmuseum 2020 Photography Grant selected by an independent jury. Karen was shortlisted and all finalists are now live at phmuseum.com/w20 and will be soon virtually projected at the 2020 Photo Vogue Festival.
Karen’s work was included in The Guardian selection of the best images from the Photo London Digital international photography fair.
Delighted to announce Karen Navarro has been shortlisted for the Photo London Emerging Photographer of the Year Award 2020, in partnership with Nikon Northern Europe.
The prize was launched during the first edition of Photo London in 2015. It is awarded to a young artist showing at Photo London.
The Shortlisted Finalists for the Emerging Photographer of the Year Award 2020 are: Margaret (Sherie) Ngigi, presented by AKKA Project; Sameer Tawde, presented by Up Gallery; Thandiwe Muriu, presented by 193 Gallery; Karen Navarro, presented by Fotorelevance; Angela Blažanović, presented by Sid Motion, Marguerite Bornhauser, presented by Carlos Carvalho Arte Contemporânea; David Uzochukwu, presented by Galerie no.8; Ibrahim Ahmed, presented by Tintera; Ryoichi Fujisaki, presented by KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY; Kira Leskinen, presented by Persons Projects
The jury is composed by Simone Klein – Former Global Director of Print Sales at Magnum Photos – and Sofia Vollmer de Maduro – Director of Education, Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, collector and Curator Emeritus of the Alberto Vollmer Foundation collection – both part of the Photo London Curatorial Committee. They are joined by Fiona Shields, Head of Photography at the Guardian.
Announcing Karen Navarro participation in Photo London Fair Digital with Foto Relevance. Taking the lead to transition to digital Photo London Fair is the first international photography fair online. It brings together 104 exhibitors from 21 countries and offers a unique programme of digital events. The Fair will run from 7–18 October 2020, with two preview days on 5 and 6 October.
Photo London Digital will take place on a platform built by the Fair’s digital partner, Artsy, and accessible both from the Photo London website and Artsy’s.
Foto Relevance will present six photographers whose styles vary significantly within the genre of contemporary photography-based work. Each individual artist creates work in a unique style, ranging from traditional media combined with non-traditional subjects to techniques which utilize the physical deconstruction of images and their re-creation as 3D visual objects. In this curated selection, each artist revisits genres of still-life, portraiture, and performance in ways that consciously expand the boundaries of photography.
Robert Langham III