Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chuy Benitez on MSNBC

CB, Self-Portrait

Although an article about a photographer usually contains photographs, AP writer Monica Rhor makes up for a lack of images in her article with a thousand words. Benitez's Houston Cultura is on display at the Lawndale Art Center through Saturday, April 12th.

"I went through all these transformations of finding those things in the community and I'm just trying to pass that along," says Benitez, a 24-year-old with a sharply trimmed goatee and amber eyes. "If you know nothing about it, look, I knew nothing. Let me show you what there is."


After he graduated from college, Benitez began to look for other examples of hybridity. He found the perfect muse in Houston, a city where Mexican and American cultures are fused on an almost molecular level.

"There's no border, so it's all just mashing up and doing whatever it wants to do. No holds barred. It's just free," he says about Houston.


In many of the works, tiny markers of Houston (often Houston Astros paraphernalia) pop up amid the chaos -a reminder that the photographs are not only portraits of people but also of a city in transformation.