Photographer of the Week #149: Karen Arango

Karen Arango is a Colombian videographer and documentary photographer. Arango received her BFA from the Ringling College of Art and Design and is a recent general studies graduate from the International Center of Photography in NYC. Her work is currently exhibited in ICP’s alumni show “The Future Perfect”.

Arango’s relationship to her practice is based on a mutual exchange of experiences, resulting in an intimacy that exists once the artist is fully immersed in the environment and history of their subject. The work documents the broad range of cultural, social and political challenges in the lives of Latin Americans, living in the US and abroad; presenting images of the ambiguous, narrative, often poetic space between vulnerability and empowerment. Her portrait series, “Miss Behave”, presents images of first generation Latin American girls navigating through the burdens and expectations of the young female immigrant experience; a subject with a deeply personal connection for Arango.

“These young girls are not only required to meet these expectations, but they might be influenced by the current presidential elections, unsure if at some point their parents might be forced to leave the United States due to their complicated immigration status. For some, their futures might be at risk, for the others, it will be their responsibility to speak for those who might have had to flee the country.”

The work displays a distinct sense of sincerity, documentation formed and stylized by the artists’s interest in the shared experience and the human condition, while still upholding the subject’s loyalty and sense of agency over their own history, culture and personal identity.

For more of Arango’s work visit her website: