Dumpster diving China Town, 1988 “Early in our friendship, Ben commented as a squirrel crossed our path as we talked and walked. When he as a kid, his Grandpa would hunt squirrels out in the country. “Can’t do that here in the city,” he noted with a nod of his head.
Ben White tends to his mothers’ graves, Johnson Payne Chapel Cemetery, Conroe, Texas, 2007. Inset photo is of White’s ashes spread on grave of his Great uncle, a WWI veteran. The cemetery was established in 1852 and slave master, former slaves and Mexicans and Mexican Americans share the site. No Native Americans are known to be buried, reflecting the discriminations of the times.
Ben White was born in Houston's Fifth Ward and his life reflected the poverty of his beginnings. His mother died from a backroom abortion when he was three, leaving Ben to be raised by an aunt who was born just down the road from the plantation where her mother was enslaved. This photo was first exhibited in 1992 and was defaced during one public display in the years following. 16x20 Color print with collage and handwritten notes. Small 2x2 print is first photo taken on July 4, 1988, White wit
With baby Joshua,.
Judy holds her son, her fourth, living on the streets of Montrose standing in front of The Montrose Refuge, which served the estimated 800 street kids living off Westheimer, on the blocks between South Shepherd and Bagby. Covenant House opened a center down the street in 1983. Judy ran away from the notorious State juvenile detention program three times, returning pregnant each time. She was mother to three more children as an adult. November 1989.
Exhibit display of Judy's Wall. El Rincon Social installation. 2016.
Christmas Panhandling and Living und
20x24 print Collage. Dec. 1988.
Judy was abandoned by her abusive parents and raised by various transvestite prostitutes when she was not in the custody of the Texas Youth Commission. . At age 18 she was released to the streets and continued living an outlaw life, became a convicted felon by her early 20’s.