Humanae project showcases beauty of human color

Matthew Lane • Oct 1, 2017 at 7:00 PM

KINGSPORT -– An international work of art whose creator hopes to provoke a discussion about race, equality and diversity will be coming to downtown Kingsport.

The work is called the Humanae project: a collection of portrait photos revealing the true beauty of human color. Its creator is Angelica Dass, a 38-year old Brazilian artist living and working in Madrid, who since 2012 has photographed 4,000 people — everyone from newborns to the terminally ill, from refugees to Fortune 500 executives.

Portraits are documented and labeled through the Pantone Matching System, a proprietary color organization system used by a variety of industries.

The inspiration for the work was Dass’ family, she said.

“I was born into a very colorful family, and I always said that all colors in my work could be in my Christmas dinner,” Dass said. “Inside our home, we see each other as equal and respect each other, no matter the difference we have physically.

“Outside the home, people judge me by my appearance. What I want to do with this work is to talk about the feelings I have at home, that we are whole humans equally. It doesn’t matter how different we are.”

A mural of those portraits will be displayed on the side of the State Theater along Market Street and will remain on exhibit through January 1, 2018. A photo installation will also be displayed in the Atrium Gallery on the second floor of the Renaissance Arts Center.

On Oct. 5 at 4:30 p.m., the city plans to hold a celebration at the corner of Market and Broad, where the public can enjoy cake pops, art projects and selfies with the mural installation.

Humanae, a journey of open-ended possibilities that enriches a new way of seeing ourselves beyond faces and colors, has been in 28 cities and 18 countries.

For more information on the project, visit www.EngageKingsport.com or www.angelicadass.com.