This exhibit was inspired by the artwork of Angélica Dass, award-winning photographer born in Brazil and based in Spain. Her practice combines photography with sociological research and public participation in global defense of human rights. She is the creator of the internationally acclaimed Humanæ project—a collection of portraits that reveal the diverse beauty of humanity. Her TED Talk exceeded two million views, a testament that her work extends beyond photography, becoming a tool for social change promoting dialogue and challenging cultural prejudices.
She created project Humanæ in 2012 by taking portrait photographs and matching a strip of pixels from the noses to color cards from Pantone, an industrial color palette numbering system. The artwork is a catalogue of human skin colors displayed as a collage of Pantone portraits. The display is intended to create a dialogue about how we see each other and how we view race, ethnicity, and identity, and has included over 4,000 pictures of people in seventeen countries and twenty-seven cities around the world.
At the Laboratory Schools, art teacher Gina Alicea asked the community to participate in the project so students would engage in a dialogue about their own skin color and what it means to them. The teachers in the Nursery and Primary schools engaged students in a conversation about race, ethnicity, and identity. Ms. Alicea presented a workshop to students during Diversity Week featuring Angelica Dass' TED Talk, The Beauty of Human Skin in Every Color, prompting Middle School students to participate, as well.
Do you want to create your own portrait at home? Watch this video for instruction!