By cataloging every conceivable human skin tone, Angélica Dass illustrates that skin color and race are more complex than they might appear at first glance.

Why you should listen

As a member of a multiethnic family, Brazilian artist Angélica Dass is acutely aware of how small differences in skin tone can swell into large misconceptions and stereotypes about race.

In her ongoing project Humanæ, Dass pairs thousands of portraits of people from diverse parts of the world with their Pantone codes, revealing that our racially­ charged skin color labels --­­ red, white, brown --­­ as not only inaccurate but also absurd. Instead, she shows us that "these colors make us see each other as different, even though we are equal."

Dass's book The Colors We Share features portraits that celebrate the diverse beauty of human skin. It's set to be released in 2021.

Angélica Dass’ TED talk

More news and ideas from Angélica Dass


Where in the world has Humanae been?

February 23, 2017

Photographer Angélica Dass captures some of humanity’s truest colors through her portrait project Humanae, a catalogue of human skin color displayed as a simple, captivating collage of Pantone portraits that reflects the deepest shades of brown and black, to the lighter tones of white, pink and everything in between. For Dass, Humanae is more than […]

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Arts + Design

Gallery: Humans come in all shapes, sizes — and colors

April 5, 2016

"We still live in a world where the color of our skin not only gives a first impression, but a lasting one that remains," says Brazilian artist Angélica Dass. She shows portraits from Humanae, the photo project she started to highlight the truly multi-colored hues of humankind.

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Live from TED2016

Pantone for skin tone: Artist Angélica Dass reveals her art at TED2016

February 19, 2016

“We still live in a world where the color of our skin not only gives a first impression, but a lasting one,” says artist Angélica Dass. Dass is from Brazil, and her family is “full of colors.” She describes her father’s skin as “deep chocolate.” He was adopted by her grandmother, whose skin is “porcelain,” […]

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