Bria Lauren x Rebecca Matalon

Artist and 2020 Houston Artadia Awardee Bria Lauren and Rebecca Matalon, Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, met virtually for a Public Workshop on March 9, 2021 to discuss Lauren’s work in photography and film, the ongoing importance of Houston’s Third Ward on her practice, and the value and urgency of honoring her local community of Black women, artists, and collaborators.

Bria Lauren is our 2020 Houston Artadia Awardee and a Texas native, born and raised in Third Ward, Houston. The south is a sacred and integrate part  of her work as a visual storyteller, healer, and queer Black woman utilizing ancestral healing as a tool to  navigate intersectionality as an act of resistance. Analog photography is a catalyst for Lauren to translate her  own unspoken vulnerability, visually and to hold space for marginalized voices to be seen, honored, cared for,  and respected. 

The heartbeat and intention of Lauren’s work intersects race, gender, vulnerability, motherhood, and Black  feminism. She travels through time using 35mm, medium format, and motion picture film to bridge social and  political gaps within her community – to communicate the true essence of one’s identity and truth without  censorship. She is currently developing an ongoing body of work, ‘Gold Was Made Fa’ Her’ that will be exhibited in Houston Fall of 2021. 

Rebecca Matalon was a juror in our 2020 Houston Artadia Award cycle and is Curator at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), where she recently organized Wild Life: Elizabeth Murray & Jessi Reaves (2021) and Garrett  Bradley: American Rhapsody (2019), the first solo museum presentation of the work of artist and filmmaker Garrett Bradley. Previously, Matalon was Assistant Curator at The  Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), where she organized exhibitions  including Tongues Untied (2015), Mickalene Thomas: Do I Look Like a  Lady? (2016), Rick Owens: Furniture (2016), Welcome to the Dollhouse (2018),  and Décor: Barbara Bloom, Andrea Fraser, Louise Lawler (2018). In 2018, she co organized Zoe Leonard: Survey, a major mid-career retrospective of the work of Zoe  Leonard, which debuted at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York before  traveling to The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. From 2015-2018, Matalon was a Co Founder and Curator at JOAN, a not-for-profit exhibition space in Los Angeles that is  dedicated to presenting the work of emerging and under-represented artists. She  serves on the board of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), and is on the Organizing  Committee of Texas Talks Art, a multi-institutional initiative that launched in January  2021.

L: Rebecca Matalon, Photo by Myles Pettengill. R: Bria Lauren, Portrait of Artist by Troy Montes