The City of Sugar Land has collaborated with community partners to create an outdoor and online exhibition celebrating its history and people. The project features oral histories and fine art portraits taken by regional artist Karen Navarro.
This project will be added to Sugar Land’s historical archive and it celebrates those with compelling connection to the early history- and modern history of Sugar Land. The 30 participants have a particularly compelling connection to Sugar Land—perhaps they are a community leader, business leader, civic leader, long-standing resident or have a unique perspective of the history of the City.
For this project the City has partner with the Fort Bend Historical Commission and the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation , and the project was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Alternate Pathways’s opening reception took place yesterday at the Union TX with a turn out of over a hundred people in attendance. Alternate Pathways is an exhibition co-organized and co-curated by Karen Navarro and Luisa Duarte. It is funded in part by the City Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs through Houston Arts Alliance. And, it’s a sponsored project of Fresh Arts, a non-profit arts service organization.
Surpassing Limits through Alternate Pathways by Surpik Angelini. (excerpt)
For the first round, Navarro and Duarte invited a mixed media artist, Celan Bouillet; a painter of sculptural shaped canvases, Eduardo Portillo; and an artist and illustrator Hedwige Jacobs to join them in this project, thus bringing together representatives from three countries as distant and different from theirs as the US, El Salvador and The Netherlands.
Beyond the issues of “displacement, attachment to place, imaginary homelands, place making, the construction of identity and belonging,” which the group identified as a common ground, I believe that the way they surpassed the limits of the Modernist aesthetic inherited from the past, seems to speak to a grander scheme of things, while it also underlies their work in more significant ways.
Surpassing limits rather than simply choosing alternate pathways may seem inconsequential at first, but in my mind it helps focus our attention to how the artists have responded to two opposing forces impacting the development of contemporary art in the last twenty-five years. Globalization alone fostered an intense traffic of culture from the First World to developing countries, or simply from centers to peripheries, carrying with it, in all instances and everywhere, the imposition of Modernism as a lingua franca in the arts. The
second force shaping the art of our times is a phenomena called “the ethnographic turn” since the 90”s, which injected local flavor, subjective specificity, and more importantly, a meaningful historical and cultural contextualization of the art produced in different parts of the world. The result of these two seminal forces is that most contemporary works today embody artists’ own micro narratives which counteract the master narrative prevalent in Modernist forms of expression. Therefore, with this framework in mind, I would like to address how each one of the artists in the present exhibition contests the inherited Modernist cannon in their own art.
To make images appear and disappear, to simulate and dissimulate visual effects through constructive and deconstructive methods would describe Karen Navarro’s artistic process. Her departure from stereotypical photographic portraits of her subjects is rendered by cutting and reassembling their facial features, intervening them with superimposed geometric matrixes. Her deconstructive methods make images almost unrecognizable, reaching invisibility at times. Navarro’s work implies that identity is in fact a social construct, as she parodies the digitally deforming effects of apps like Snap Chat, face changer, faceapp, all of which fulfill the growing need of people to be recognized, or to be accepted in a certain social category, symbolized by their obsessive use of hash tags.”
Navarro’s series El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos (Belonging in Modern Times) was selected for the Critical Mass TOP 50 (2019). Critical Mass is an annual online program that makes connections within the photography community. It is ran by Photolucida, a non- profit organization that support and promote the work of emerging and mid-career photographers.
Through a pre-screening process, the field is narrowed to a group of 200 finalists who go on to have their work viewed and voted on by over 200 esteemed international photography professionals. From the finalist group, the Top 50 are named and a series of awards are given. See the series here
Alternate Pathways Opening Reception OCTOBER 19, 2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM | 2315 Union Street, Houston, Texas 77007.
Alt Projects is pleased to present Alternate Pathways, an artist-centered and driven group exhibition. An event that highlights the diversity of both Houston and the artists involved. The show will feature the works of visual artist Luisa Duarte, mixed media artist Celan Bouillet, fine art photographer Karen Navarro, painter of sculptural shaped canvases Eduardo Portillo, and artist and illustrator Hedwige Jacobs.
Opening reception RSVP here
The show runs until November 22th, by appointment only.
Artists talk and brunch: Sunday October 27th, 1-3 PM at the Union. Free and open to the public.
Read the new interview on CREATE! magazine about Karen’ studio practice. CREATE! magazine is an independent, contemporary art magazine highlighting the work of artists, makers, and creative entrepreneurs.
What is your process like?
“Usually, everything starts on the sketchbook, then I pay a visit to the warehouse to buy some painting to paint the backdrop wall. After that I go to the thrift store to get some clothing and some props to prepare for the photo shoot. In my performative photographs I create characters, for this reason I meticulously arrange the elements in the scene. Although, while in the photo shoots I allow myself to get creative and try new things, I don’t stick entirely to the sketchbook.
Since my work is evolving and I am working on new mediums, like collages and soon sculpture, my process changes according to the work I am doing. For example in my last series of collages “El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos” I added laser-cutting, 3-D printing, and embossing.”
Read the full interview here
Navarro’s work is now available through PxP Contemporary. PxP Contemporary is an online platform which connects collectors with high-quality, affordable artworks.
Check Navarro’s collection here
Karen was recently interviewed about her series “El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos” by Haley Berkman Karren on Houston Center for Photography’s SPOT Magazine.
“I think I made this work to break some rules in the photography world and to challenge the medium. This series is a point of experimentation for me as well—an introduction to sculpture, which is something I want to explore in the future. I want to push the boundaries of not only photography, but my art practice as well. I feel like this thinking aligns with the Cubist mentality because Cubism was drastically breaking away from existing modes of thinking.”
Read the full interview here
Karen’s work will be included in Aint–Bad’s No. 14 annual publication. Aint–Bad is an independent publisher of new photographic Art. The Issue No. 14 showcases over 150 leading contemporary photographers from all over the world within 256 pages. This publication will act as a record of the best photographic work being made today.
Now you can buy some of the pieces from the series “El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos” on Artsy through Foto Relevance
Over the past year Navarro has been co-organizing a group exhibition that highlights Houston’s cultural diversity. Alternate Pathways is fiscally sponsored by the non-profit Fresh Arts. And, It was just awarded a Houston Arts Alliance City’s Initiative grant.
More info about the exhibition coming soon.
Four of Navarro’s pieces has been included in the group show 1000+1 at Foto Relevance. When thinking about photography, an old adage often comes to mind: a picture is worth a thousand words. To say this is to recognize photography as an inherently communicative practice, to acknowledge the ways in which an image can convey meaning when language falls short. Engaging in this conversation, 1000+1 is a group show highlighting seven contemporary artists—Kalee Appleton, Joana P. Cardozo, Mark Chen, Paul-André Larocque, Noelle Mason, Karen Navarro, and Krista Svalbonas—who expand our expectations of photography through the use of photo-based techniques in conjunction with alternative media such as sculpture, text, painting, and textiles.
1000+1 will be on view from July 12th to September 6, 2019, with an opening reception on July 12th from 6 to 8 pm.
See photos of the show, here
El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos (Belonging in Modern Times)
June 29 - July 27
El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos (Belonging in Modern Times) explores the online self-representation used as a venue to create a sense of belongingness. Inspired by cubism and the representation of the subject through the investigation of materiality and collages, the portraits were reassembled depicting a distorted image that speaks about the constructed identities we perform on social media. The participants photographed were selected by an open call on Instagram. To address this contemporary issue new technologies such as 3-D printing and laser cutting were used. Additionally, the photographs were embossed with the top 100 hashtags on Instagram.
The tridimensional collages suggest multiple layers of meaning and aim to discuss the challenges of being authentic and real in a time of obsession over portraying an online illusion of ourselves.
Saturday, June 29th, 6-8 pm
3508 Lake St, Houston, TX 77098
The exhibition runs until July 27
Tues- Sat 12-5PM
For more info and to RSVP click here
“El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos” (Belonging in Modern Times) as part of Meet Her Hands exhibition series opened last week with a very successful turnout at Elisabet Ney Museum Austin, TX. Meet Her Hands is a collaborative exhibition series, produced by the non-profit #bbatx and the Elisabet Ney Museum every summer, featuring three Texan women artists from #BBATX’s annual residency.
The opening reception and artist talk for Navarro’s exhibition was held on June 13 at the Elisabet Ney Museum. The exhibition itself will be open through June 24.
The exhibition runs until June 24th
Elisabeth Ney Museum
304 E 44th St, Austin, TX 78751
Click here for more
In April 2019 Karen attended PhotoLucida portfolio review. PhotoLucida portfolio review is a one-on-one meeting with reviewers of the participant choice. Participants can choose from gallery owners, curators, editors, photo festival directors, and publishers representing small, mid-sized, and major venues from all over the US and abroad. It’s a great way to network, both with reviewers and peers.
Geoffrey Koslov from Foto Relevance selected some photographers from Photolucida. Read what he says about Karen’s work…
“Photographers at Photolucida in Portland, Oregon represent all areas of photography-based work, expressing very different points of view. The diversity in the approach to art and image creation, using the photograph as an object with other media, is inspiring and challenging. Subject matter ranged from documentary work, performance of self and others, and imagery of found objects. Each unique. Each different. Each showing how broadly photography-based art has advanced as a tool of expression.
Karen Navarro, in her series “El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos” (translated as “Belonging in Modern Times”) is taking a very contemporary, colorful and abstracted approach to commenting on technology as it affects us today. Navarro is from Argentina, now living and working in Houston, Texas. She describes her work as “highly stylized aesthetic on a diverse array of mediums that includes photography, collage, and sculpture.” Navarro herself represents the new voice of art - multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, engaging with others in a virtual world without regard to national boundaries. She lives what her work expresses.!”
“The background of her constructed portraits use the hashtag “#” found in many of today’s apps, like Instagram. The hashtag has become the ubiquitous communication tool for people to find others of like interests. In this series of portraits, the prints are made on paper backgrounds printed with hash-tagged keywords. The bright red and print color scheme is a reference to the Instagram logo. Her models are volunteers that answered a request to pose solicited through social media. It is that virtual connection. In cases, our self-esteem and identity may be defined by how successful we garner followers, which are published for all to see and judge us. Navarro’s work expresses self-referential questions that apply “a much larger scale to ideas of construction of identity, societal expectations and the understanding of the being; prompting a discourse about the subconscious will to comply with the contemporary societies’ canons when these are in fact misleading.” Her work reflects this magnetic pull of acceptance and connection with others through the whirlpool of social media that drags us in and fragments our sense of self.”
“Navarro very cleverly modified the photographic image to create a sculptural object that reflect how social media impacts our interaction with others. The way we communicate and relate has changed. For her generation, in particular, communication is less about personal interaction and verbal direct communication. Communication among her peers is more about the iPhone, the computer, texting and messaging. What Navarro has presented us with, in these image, is our new identity. It is not a face to face interaction, but the tangles of social media that have woven us together in an electronic mesh. Her images reflect that distortion in interaction in the way the portraits are abstracted. She suggests that in order to not be an outcast in this new society, we have to accept how we seek human companionship, or be isolated. ”
Read the full article here
Meet Her Hands is a collaborative exhibition series, produced by #bbatx and the Elisabet Ney Museum every summer, featuring three Texan women artists from #BBATX’s annual residency.
This season, #BBATX host mixed media and fine art photographer Karen Navarro, collage artist Maribel Falcón and conceptual collaborators Big Chicken and Baby Bird. Each artist will showcase work within the Elisabet Ney’s collection for two weeks, and throughout the summer we’ll explore sculptor Elisabet Ney’s legacy, while writing a new, more inclusive history of women in the arts.
Meet her hands no. 1: Karen Navarro l june 13 to June 24
The opening reception and artist talk for Navarro’s exhibition will be held on June 13 at the Elisabet Ney Museum. The exhibition opens at 6:30 PM with complimentary refreshments by Austin Cocktails, followed by a tour of the museum at 7:00 PM and an artist talk at 7:30 PM. The exhibition itself will be open through June 23.
The event is free and open to the public with RSVP. Get your RSVP here.
PhotoVogue is Vogue.it photography platform curated by the Photo Editors of Vogue Italia: a platform for photographers to showcase their talent with the opportunity to take part in international exhibitions and initiatives and the chance of being represented by New York agency Art+Commerce, one of the most prestigious in the world.
Check out Karen’s profile here
HOUSTON, TX (March 28, 2019)— Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) is pleased to announce the 2019 Gala and Art Auction. The event will be hosted at CAMH on Friday, April 12, 2019 from 7PM-midnight.
Since 1948 the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston has shared the art of our time at no cost to visitors who come through their doors. It is through the amazing generosity of patrons and artists that they maintain and advance their mission. Every year a curated selection of artists and their galleries are asked to donate work for the benefit of the Museum through the Annual Gala and Art Auction. In turn, proceeds from the Annual Gala and Art Auction benefit CAMH’s exhibitions and educational programming.
The auction artwork will be available for view from Monday 04/06 until Friday 04/12 during regular museum hours.
Latino Art Now (LAN!), features a second billboard with Karen’s artwork Subject #13.
The 6th Latino Art Now! is April 4-6, 2019 Houston, TX. Click here to learn more about LAN!
LOS ANGELES March 19th - Professional photographer Karen Navarro of United States was presented with the 12th Annual International Color Awards Nominee title in the category of fine art at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photoshow streamed Saturday, March 9, 2019.
The live online gala was attended by 11,829 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry’s most important event for color photography. 12th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Sotheby’s, New York; Benetton, Ponzano Veneto; The Art Channel, London; Kolle Rebbe, Hamburg; Droga5, New York; Preus Museum, Norway; Art Beatus, Hong Kong; Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg; Wieden & Kennedy, Portland; Fox Broadcasting Network, Los Angeles; Gallery Kong, Seoul; and Phillips, New York who honored Color Masters with 761 title awards and 1,032 nominees in 37 categories.
“Winning awards is an endorsement that you are doing something right in your craft”, “It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 7,241 entries we received this year,” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. “Karen Navarro’s ”I am the Egg,” an exceptional image entered in the fine art category, represents contemporary color photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present her with the title of Nominee.”
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography. www.colorawards.com
BossBabesATX, the Texas-based nonprofit that amplifies and connects women and nonbinary creatives, entrepreneurs and organizers, annually works with 10 to 15, Texas-based women and nonbinary visual and musical artists to produce site-specific work, commissions and exhibitions throughout their programming and collaborations with like-minded collectives, institutions, and brands. Through these residencies, they invite the public to learn more about their process, approach, and sustainability of their practice.
Every first Thursday in April through September they have organized an event that celebrates the work of women artists in #BBATX’s 2019 residency where you can enjoy art and DJ sets.
Karen’s work will be featured in VOLUME SIX: SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 @ The LINE Austin Pool Deck (opening night for BABES FEST 2019). The artists that will be featured are Eileen Wu, DJ Dama Nilz, Karen Navarro and Recspec.
To RSVP Click here
Intersections celebrates women of color through a diverse collection of 22 artists and their stories told from a variety experiences and perspectives. In addition to highlighting artists from San Antonio, the exhibition aims to explore spaces across Texas and the narratives of women of color from the region. Presa House has reached out to a selection of curators from Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, and Laredo, TX to collaborate in creating space and a platform for these artists.
February 1, 06:00 - 11:00
Presa House Gallery
725 S. Presa, San Antonio, Texas 78210
The exhibitions runs until February 23
By appointment only
To read more Click here
To watch Top 5 Glasstire video Click here
Artadia is pleased to announce the five inaugural Houston Artadia Fellows: Abdul Basit, Pakistan; Lanre Buraimoh, Nigeria; Eduardo Herrera, Ecuador; Karen Navarro, Argentina; and Sanya Wafeq, Afghanistan.
The Houston Artadia Fellowship is a pilot program designed to connect Houston’s diverse immigrant and refugee artists with other artists, each other, and the international art world through close collaborations with local partners, critical discourse, exhibition opportunities, and studio visits with renowned curators and artists to support and cultivate artistic excellence. Fellows are invited to participate in conversations around art practice, sustainability, and the locality of the city’s art scene while simultaneously providing the resources to address needs specific to those communities. Click here for more
Latino Art Now (LAN!) is a leading National forum for artists, art professionals, educators, scholars, critics, and art dealers to periodically explore the contours of Latin American art. The 6th Latino Art Now! is April 4-6, 2019 Houston, TX. Click here to learn more about LAN!
After Curated by Girls, the Berlin-based online platform for talented, emerging and established artists from around the world, featured Karen’s work online. Karen was contacted to exhibit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in New Femininity #3, a show organized and curated by Curated by Girls.
Click here for the online feature.
Click here for exhibition info.