The Constructed Self - PhMuseum

The Constructed Self

Karen Navarro

2019 - Ongoing

The Constructed Self (2019-2021) explores themes of identity and self-representation through the use of text and unconventional portraiture. Using digital photography as a foundation, I transform traditional prints into three-dimensional objects by cutting and incorporating tactile elements such as wood, paint, and resin. The labor-in-tensive 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.

Like a puzzle, my identities intersect coming together to construct my multiple sense of Self. Although I do not appear in the pictures I see the works as self-reflective and it's very important for me to show the diversity within my models. As an immigrant from Latin America and a descendant of Indigenous Peoples from the South, I feel the need to celebrate diversity to reframe the representation of historically marginalized identities.

Some of the pieces that make up these dimensional portraits can be rearranged and displayed in various ways to express the notion that identity is a social construct. At once colorful, surreal, and minimal, my constructed portraits invite the viewer to challenge their own perceptions and biases, by highlighting the complexities that make up who we are.

{{ readMoreButton }}

  • Fragment, 2019
    Archival inkjet print, wood panel, acrylic paint, Epoxy
    48 x 56 in

  • Twisted variation, 2021
    Archival inkjet print, wood, gesso, metal, acrylic paint, Epoxy
    24 × 24 × 15 in

  • Fractured, 2021
    Archival inkjet print, wood, acrylic paint, Epoxy, vinyl
    50 × 40 in

  • Twisted, 2020
    Archival inkjet print, wood, acrylic paint, epoxy, metal rope
    18 x 52.5 x 18 in

  • Untitled (rearranged), 2021
    Archival inkjet print, wood, acrylic paint, Epoxy
    31 1/2 × 25 1/4 in

  • Untitled (perspective), 2021
    Archival inkjet print, wood, acrylic paint, Epoxy
    35 × 28 in

  • Puzzled, 2020
    Archival inkjet print, wood panel, acrylic paint, Epoxy
    53 x 38 in

  • Untitled (perspective ll), 2021
    Archival inkjet print, wood, acrylic paint, Epoxy
    30 × 24 in


Newsletter