Angélica Dass


About the project
TED Talk, February 2016 | The beauty of human skin in every color
Angélica Dass
280 Whips

Angélica Dass, Brasil

Humanae is a work in progress, a trial presentation of a color chart of various skin tones. This taxonomy of Borges-like proportions takes the form of a Pantone guide, lending the sample book a degree of hierarchical horizontality that readily invalidates flawed beliefs in concepts of race and in the superiority of certain human beings over others based on the color of their skin.

The display of an endless range of skin tones coaxes the spectator into thinking about one of the meanings of the word “identity,” in the sense of “equality.” Angélica Dass set this extraordinarily simple semantic mechanism in motion by “innocently” shifting the issue of race from its socio-political context to a more anodyne medium like the color chart, where primary colors have exactly the same status as mixed hues.

- Brazilian artist Angélica Dass reframes the concept of race by showing the diversity of skin tones in her global photographic mosaic.

(b. 1979) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Madrid, Spain

Creator of the Humanae project —a chromatic taxonomy of portraits showing the different human skin tones—, Angélica Dass focuses in her work on the defense of human rights and on ethnic identities. The artist-activator has participated with this project in important international economic, cultural, and educational forums. Dass has illustrated the special edition of National Geographic devoted to the subject of race (2018), presented an installation at the World Economic Forum in Davos (2017), and been awarded the Premio Festival Off at PhotoEspaña 2013. Following the TEDGlobal talk she gave in 2016, her work has become a tool for social change, promoting dialogue and challenging entrenched cultural prejudices.