Chuy Benitez: Summer in the City
October 10–November 22, 2009
Chuy Benitez: Summer in the City features digitally-composed color panoramic photographs taken in New York City in 2009 and Houston in 2008. Documenting ethnic community groups, Benitez photographed “Danzantes” (traditional Aztec fire dancers) in Central Park and a Hare Krishna parade in lower Manhattan. Using digital imaging technology,
Benitez “stitches” together multiple photographs to create a single horizontal image. “‘New’ techniques of photography have kept ethnic communities in the US undocumented within the national culture simply because the members within the community cannot often afford the equipment necessary to create these advanced images…,” Benitez writes. “Images made within ethnic communities are often looked down upon as being ‘behind the times’ or as naïve images.” It is through his photos that Benitez, using ultra-modern artistic practices, is able to visually represent communities that may otherwise be overlooked or otherwise thought of as unsophisticated.
Danzantes in Central Park, 2009
Lightjet print 16 x 46 inches
In 2008, Benitez photographed the after effects of Hurricane Ike on Houston’s Hispanic community, documenting the distribution of supplies and bottled water and clean-up and repair efforts. These works were recently included in the publication, Houston. It’s Worth It. IKE. Benitez is an internationally exhibited and collected Chicano photographer who currently lives and works in Houston, but is originally from El Paso.
He received a BA in photography from the University of Notre Dame in 2005, and an MFA in photography/digital media from the University of Houston in 2008. His work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Gilberto Cardenas Collection of Latino Art, and Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin.
Hare Krishna Parade at the Flatiron, 2009
Lightjet print 16 x 48 inches