Pictura Gallery

Karen Navarro

The Constructed Self

Dates + Events

Gallery Walk Opening Reception | Karen Navarro

Friday, November 5 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm

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Pictura is pleased to present the work of Karen Navarro November 5, 2021 through January 29, 2022. Navarro’s work explores the intersections of identity, self-representation, race, gender, and belonging through unconventional portraiture. Her multimedia practice transforms digital prints into three-dimensional objects by cutting and incorporating tactile elements such as wood, paint, resin and embossing.

Gallery Walk Opening + Artist Talk
Friday, November 5th, 5pm - 8pm
Artist talk begins at 7pm
Free and open to the public

Pictura Kids Workshop - Photo Collage
Saturday, Nov 6th 10-11am
Free - Registration Required
Ages 6+

My work is informed by my experience of being an immigrant and the ways in which I see identity as a cultural and social construct. Through unconventional portraiture and still life imagery, my multimedia practice investigates the intersections of identity, self-representation, race, gender, and belonging. Using digital photography as a foundation, I transform traditional prints into three-dimensional, visual objects by cutting and incorporating tactile elements such as wood, paint, and resin. The labor-intensive techniques I apply to create these sculptural objects not only allow for a physical deconstruction of my images but also become a form of meditation that reflects my efforts in trying to reconstruct and make sense of my own identity. At once colorful and minimal, my constructed portraits are meant to invite viewers in while touching base on sensitive issues. Diversity and equality are very important considerations throughout my work, which features a diverse range of subjects portrayed in similar manners. To refer to my subjects’ constructed identities and their multiple layers, each individual’s face is often depicted hidden, dissected, or blurry. These interventions reference elements from cubism and surrealism, genres in which I find an unexpected kind of magic and strange beauty. Through my practice, questions of identity sometimes take a philosophical turn.

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 investigates the intersections of identity, self-representation, race, gender, and belonging. Navarro has a background in fashion design and completed the certificate program in photography at the Houston Center for Photography. Her constructed portraits are known for pushing the boundaries of traditional photography, the use of color theory, surreal scenes, and minimalist details. In 2019 she received the Houston Artadia fellowship and most recently she has been shortlisted for the 2020 Photo London Emerging Photographer of the Year Award and is one of the Top Ten Lensculture Critics’ Choice 2021 award. Her work has been exhibited in the US and abroad.

Selected shows include Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), USA; Galerija Upuluh, Zagreb, Croatia; Holocaust Museum Houston, USA; Artpace, San Antonio, USA; Melkweg Expo, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Houston Center for Photography, Houston, USA; and Museo de la Reconquista, Tigre, Argentina. Navarro’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including ARTnews, The Guardian, Observer, Rolling Stone Italia, and Photo Vogue Festival Italia.

Her studio is located at Sabine Street Studios and is open to visit by appointment.

karennavarroph.com

Exhibits Archive