Benito Huerta is an artist, and a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington where he has been Director and Curator of The Gallery at UTA since 1997. Huerta received a B.F.A. at the University of Houston and his Masters at New Mexico State University. He was Co-founder, Executive Director and Emeritus Board Director of Art Lies, a Texas Art Journal. As a curator, he has organized surveys and retrospectives of Mel Chin, John Hernandez, Luis Jimenez, Dalton Maroney, and Celia Alvarez Munoz. As a painter, Huerta specializes in large-scale oils that utilize pop culture and historical art references to explore the juxtaposition of death and beauty. In addition to painting, Huerta also creates three-dimensional work. He has completed public works projects which include DFW International Airport, the Mexican-American Cultural Center in Austin, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Houston Metropolitan Transit and Fort Worth’s South Main Street Public Art Project. In 2002, the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art awarded Huerta with its Legend Award. His work is included in the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Albuquerque Museum of Art, the Art Museum of South Texas and the National Museum of Mexican Art, as well a variety of private and public collections.
I recently sat down with Benito at his home studio near the UTA campus where we discussed growing up in Corpus Christi, decades in curation, beauty, death, chalupas, and booking the Rolling Stones.