An article in Texas Monthly in 1997 describes Benavides’ working process during the period the drawing offered here was made:
When not working four nights a week as a security guard, Benavides draws. He sits through the night at his folding table, his eyes inches from the poster board he inscribes with black fine-point Pilot rolling-ball pens, creating a body of elegiac art the equal of any in its intensity and depth of feeling. His recent drawings are even denser than their predecessors, the brooding fields of “dots” or checks buckling with intricate perspective effects that seem to challenge not only the normal process of seeing but also the laws of physics. Seeping from cracks in this extradimensional universe like exotic alien life forms are ineffably delicate colored filigrees. The bursts of color (he uses red, blue, white, and green), he says, “represent an escape from myself. I am running. I am fleeing.” Asked about the source of these complex abstractions, Benavides, a devout Roman Catholic, says, “I just sit down and ask God what he wants me to see. And then I see the picture in my head. The entire thing. It repeats over and over while I’m working.”
Hector Alonzo Benavides was a self-taught Mexican-American artist based in South Texas, mostly in Laredo. He suffered from a disabling disorder of his legs as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder. He channeled his attention into spending many hours each day producing his astonishingly precise drawings which he characterized as “turning a negative into a positive.” His art was recognized during his lifetime by collectors of folk and outsider art, especially in his native Texas. Benvavides’ drawings were featured in the 1996 traveling exhibition, Spirited Journeys, Self Taught Artists of the Twentieth Century which originated at the Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery at the University of Texas, Austin. In conjunction with the exhibition, he addressed the Folk Art Society of America’s Houston symposium. His works have been exhibited in the US and Europe, and are in the collections of the Blanton Art Museum, the American Folk Art Museum, is also in the collection of Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Condition: Artwork generally fine overall. Original gallery frame with the usual handling and wear.
“Hector Alonzo Benavides.” Hedges Projects. http://hedges-projects.com/new-page-2 (8 April 2022).
Webb, Bruce Lee. “Hector Alonzo Benavides.” Raw Vision #27. Spring 1999. Online at: Webb Gallery. http://www.webbartgallery.com/hector-alonzo-benavides (8 April 2022).