Artist Talk: Bennie Flores Ansell and Guadalupe HernandezVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
7 p.m. Moderated Discussion
7:40 p.m. Audience Q&A — Questions welcome via YouTube Live or Facebook Live
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Join Asia Society for a virtual conversation between two of the featured artists participating in the Artists on Site Series 2 project. Bennie Flores Ansell and Guadalupe Hernandez will discuss their work in Houston and onsite at Asia Society Texas, providing insight into their processes and a reflection upon their practices. They will be joined by moderators Prince Varughese Thomas and Bridget Bray.
About the Artists
Bennie Flores Ansell is a Houston-based visual artist. Flores Ansell was born in Manila, Philippines and her formative years were lived in the United States. She is a Professor in the Art Department of the Houston Community College. Her degrees include an MFA from the University of Houston, a BA from the University of South Florida, and she was an American Photography Institute Fellow at New York University.
Flores Ansell’s work has evolved over a career spanning more than 20 years. Her work initially dealt with concepts of race, ethnicity, beauty, and the objectified female, which further led to explorations of the loss and retention of the photographic object due to the rapid change within the medium, as well as the inherent racism built into the chemical make-up of color film. Flores Ansell’s pursuit of different conceptual ideas situates her work consistently through the use of light, shadow, migration patterns, observations of the tactile qualities of film, and manipulation of the photographic image.
Flores Ansell’s work has been exhibited widely, including in exhibitions at the International Center for Photography, NYC; Seattle Art Museum; and the San Diego Museum of Art as part of the Only Skin Deep exhibition curated by Coco Fusco in 2004. Through the Fotofest Meeting Place her work has been exhibited internationally at Festival De La Luz in Argentina, in a site-specific installation at the Daegu Photography Biennale in South Korea in 2016 and included in two group shows at Patricia Conde Galeria in Mexico City.
Houston-based artist Guadalupe Hernandez creates works inspired by his Mexican heritage. As an artist, he explores aspects of his Mexican identity through the lens of people, places, and memories from his childhood in Mexico. His works have been exhibited in museums and juried exhibitions, including at the Holocaust Museum Houston. He recently participated as the Changarrito Artist-in-Residence with the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas.
“I capture the anatomical structure of the figure through expressive marks, vibrant colors, and various use of materials in order to evoke the soul from the image. As I work, I often think about my own cultural identity. What is my place in the culture? What do I not understand? How am I influenced by my culture? These questions have guided me to focus on the rich culture of Mexico which is often overlooked. My work celebrates the beauty found in scenes from everyday life and explores subcultures found throughout Mexico.”
About the Moderator
Prince Varughese Thomas is an Indian immigrant, born in Kuwait, partly raised in India, and naturalized in the United States. Code switching between communities has been a consistent aspect of his life that has allowed him to recognize and explore various aspects of culture through his art. This experience through his formative years to adulthood has directly affected how he looks at society and attempts to examine places worthy of exploration and critique to raise larger questions through his art. With an educational background in psychology and art, the various projects Thomas investigates speak about contemporary culture through an array of themes.
A winner of Time-Based Media in Art Prize 7, a Texas Biennial Artist, an Andy Warhol Foundation Idea Fund Recipient, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Emergency Grant Recipient, Thomas has presented his work in over 250 solo and group exhibitions at numerous museums and galleries, and in various public and private collections.
Thomas received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington, and M.F.A. from the University of Houston. He is currently a Professor of Art at Lamar University.
This project is organized by Asia Society Texas. Exhibitions and their related programs at Asia Society Texas are presented by Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, and Leslie and Brad Bucher. Major support comes from The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston Endowment, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Wortham Foundation, Inc., and Agnes Hsu-Tang, Ph.D. and Oscar L. Tang. United Airlines is our official airline partner. Funding is also provided through contributions from the Exhibitions Patron Circle, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas.
Nancy C. Allen
Leslie and Brad Bucher
Chinhui Juhn and Edward Allen
Official Airline Sponsor
About Asia Society at Home
We are dedicated to continuing our mission of building cross-cultural understanding and uplifting human connectivity. Using digital tools, we bring you content for all ages and conversations that matter, in order to spark curiosity about Asia and to foster empathy.
About Asia Society Texas Center
With 13& locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.