(article) Gallery Exhibit: Pasatiempos de La Frontera: Images from the El Paso/Juarez Borderlands

Pasatiempos de La FronteraImages from the El Paso/Juarez Borderlands

Photographer Chuy Benitez was inspired to create these images after trying to convey what life in his hometown was like to classmates at Notre Dame, in the very Midwestern city of South Bend, Indiana.

"Life on the Texas/Mexico border is often misrepresented as simultaneously dangerous and drab, and I intended to dispel this myth with these photographs. The El Paso/Juarez border community is the largest border community in the world and is a one-of-a-kind, distinctly vibrant community. For decades we have been haunted by negative media coverage, whether it be about illegal immigration or serial killings, and although these events cannot be denied, they only represent a minute percentage of life on the border.

I found myself constantly trying to describe the uniqueness of border culture and the amazing scenery of the mountainous desert that surrounds us. After finding my place as a photographer, I then decided to communicate through photography the same stories of home I had been telling for years. Each photograph in this series is filled with personal significance and shows locations and experiences that are a part of my life and the lives of other born-and-raised El Pasoans and Juarenses." – Chuy Benitez


 About the photographer:

Chuy Benitez was born in 1983 in El Paso, Texas into a family that has lived on both sides of the Mexico/United States border for generations. “Growing up within a bi-national family provided me with a unique perspective of both nations and insight into the experience of navigating the borderlands, or frontera, and recognizing the cultural differences and influences of both cultures.” Benitez received his MFA photography and digital media at the University of Houston in 2008. He has exhibited at  FOTOFEST 2008 and Project Row Houses in Houston, and at the Dallas Contemporary Art Museum. Two of his images are included in the book, "Houston. It's Worth It." (www.ttweak.com, 2007).

Pasatiempos de La Frontera: Images from the El Paso/Juarez Borderlands has been made possible, in part, by grants from the Still Water Foundation, the city of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and the Texas Commission on the Arts, as well as contributions from the boards and members of Texas Folklife.

 

Exhibit Specifications:

Framed Color Digital Prints: (13) 20 x 24 inches

Text panel: (1) 30 X 20” inches

Running Feet: 27

Rental: $400 plus shipping and insurance for 4-6 week rental

Hanging specifications: Ready to hang

Please contact Texas Folklife at info@texasfolklife.org or call at 512-441-9255 for more information