This Artist Took 4,000 Portraits to Show the Range of Human Skin Color—and the Results Exceeded the Pantone Library

“Using this scale, I am sure that nobody is ‘black,’ and absolutely nobody is ‘white,’” says artist Angélica Dass.

Sarah Cascone March 28, 2018

Angélica Dass, “Humanae.” Photo courtesy of the artist.

Angélica Dass, “Humanae.” Photo courtesy of the artist.

How many colors are there in the human rainbow? By Angélica Dass’s count, at least 4,000. Since 2012, the Brazilian artist has been photographing people of every color and matching each subject’s skin tone to hues from the Pantone printing color chart to codify a unique chromatic inventory.

The project, titled “Humanæ,” has traveled the world and is featured in this month’s issue of National Geographic, which focuses on the idea of race as a social construct, rather than a biological one. Dass also gave a 2016 TED Talk on the subject: “It has been 128 years since the last country in the world abolished slavery,” she said. “But we still live in a world where the color of our skin not only gives a first impression but a lasting one that remains.”

Full Article by Sarah Cascone

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