With a background in fashion design, Argentina-born artist, Karen Navarro, works with a highly stylized aesthetic on a diverse array of mediums that includes photography and collage. Her constructed portraits are known for the use of color theory, surreal scenes and minimalist details. Navarro’s work explores themes related to identity and femininity. It expresses self-referential questions that connect in a much larger scale to ideas of social construction of reality.
Navarro lives in Houston since 2014 where she completed the certificate program in photography at Houston Center for Photography. In 2018 Navarro was awarded a scholarship from the Glassell School of Art at The Museum of Fine Art Houston where she studied analog photography. Most recently she has received the Artadia fellowship 2019. Navarro's work has been widely exhibited in the US and abroad.
Deconstruction is a series of indirect self-portraits influenced by the representation of women in modern times and the demanding expectations that limit our identity to domesticity. Simultaneously, “Deconstruction” explores the relationship between perfection and failure.
Karen grew up with the idea that ordinary dreams are impossible to reach. Her mother married at sixteen. As a result, she missed experiencing her teenage years by taking on the role of a housewife while still so young herself. Her frustration translated to Karen into a word/feeling; “impossible”. Now, she stages her photographs, creating surreal scenes where she has control over everything, and everything is possible.
Using models and domestic objects, such as hair, plates, lamps, bird cages and, eggs, Karen meticulously arranges the elements to present uncertainty through unexpected elements. These elements generate an intersection between possibility and impossibility. In reference to the egg, is quite personal for Karen, she associates eggs with fertility.
Ironically, the use of pink comes from the Spanish saying: “No todo en la Vida es color de rosa.” Translated literally into the English language, it means “not everything in life is rosy. Hence, all in life is truly not perfect.
Karen is interested in creating a dialogue between her photographs and the viewer where the answers are not absolute truths. The name Deconstruction, borrowed from the philosopher Jacques Derrida and reinterpreted here, shows how we rebuild ourselves based on what we have learned and what has been imposed upon us.