PhotoLucida review by Foto Relevance

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

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