Los Angeles

Five spoons, 2021
William Rogers & Son Sunkist Silverplate Fruit Spoons (c. 1910)
6 x 2 in., each
Photo by Rafael Hernández

Truth, 2021
Pastel, graphite, crayon, color pencil on matboard; Crate label, “Truth Brand."
Arlington, Riverside Co., CA (c. 1930s)
32 x 32 in.
Photo by Annika Klein

Fountain, 2021
Bisque-fired ceramic, found tile from Santa Clara River
Dimensions variable
Photo by Rafael Hernández

Stock footage, 2021
Pastel, graphite, color pencil on matboard;
Valencia, CA Aerial Stock Footage (2017)
40 x 32 in.
Photo by Annika Klein

re:connections (installation view)
Aug. 5-31, 2021
Tin Flats, Los Angeles, CA
Photo by Rafael Hernández

Stock, 2021
Graphite on matboard; The Newhall Land & Farming Co., stock certificate (1917)
40 x 64 in.

Rubbing 3, 2021
Graphite on paper; Walk of Western Stars, Newhall, CA,
bronze stars on terrazzo tiles (1981–)
24 x 18 in.

Rubbing 4, 2021
Graphite on paper; Walk of Western Stars, Newhall, CA,
bronze stars on terrazzo tiles (1981–)
24 x 18 in.

Oil field, 2021
Graphite on matboard; Schultheis, Herman. Newhall oil field, photograph (c. 1937)
32 x 40 in.

Health, Properties, 2021
Bisque-fired ceramic; Sunkist, California Fruit Growers Exchange,
print advertisement (c. 1935)
Dimensions variable

Points of Interest (installation view)
June 12-15, 2021
Newhall Crossings, Newhall, CA

My most recent and ongoing body of work, Root Rot (2021), is a study of colonial histories in Valencia, CA. Incorporating research from public archives, works range from large-scale, colorfully-rendered citrus labels to graphite drawings of World’s Fairs photographs. These reflect on the legacies of the California citrus industry and its history of indigenous dispossession, erasure of immigrant labor, and privatization of land management practices.

Points of Interest (2021) broadens this research to Newhall, California. This project comprises graphite drawings of historical documents: local oil field photographs and company stock certificates, as well as bisque-fired vessels referencing orange juice advertisements, and rubbings of the Walk of Western Stars along Old Town Newhall’s Main Street. Probing relationships between extractivism, culture industries, and gentrification, the exhibition temporarily occupied an unused retail space in the luxury apartment building Newhall Crossings.

Fía Benitez is a research-driven artist living in Los Angeles. In 2021, she produced a series of archive-based works which index colonial histories in Valencia and Newhall, CA. Fía also works as a peer tutor, and in 2020-21, co-organized the CalArts Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series. Fía holds degrees from Vassar College and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).