Food Material
Lucia Hierro in conversation with Bianca Morán
November 9, 2020

In our series Food Material, artists and food practitioners share ingredients and material on their minds and in their lives, diving deep into their histories and meaning today. These conversations in the studio (and sometimes kitchen) often include friends and special guests, addressing how ingredients can take us from cooking-in-quarantine to questions of scarcity or accessibility, as well as the confluence of food and art-making.

For the fourth installment of this series, artist Lucia Hierro connects with Active Cultures curator Bianca Morán to talk about the genesis of the series of work in which Lucia reimagines traditional art historical references, from Dutch still lifes to Spanish bodegones. Hierro reinterprets and reinvigorates these forms within the context of diaspora and community, with pointed critiques about access, colonialism, and capitalism. Lucia and Bianca discuss the formative experiences that shape Lucia's work and the ways that food and meals function as language and symbols of community within her practice.

Food Material is an ongoing series organized by Active Cultures curator Bianca Morán that explores how foodways provide a window into our most fundamental beliefs about cultural expression, equity, environmental sustainability, and ourselves. As with many of Active Cultures' current programs, Food Material exists online until we can gather in person again.

Image: Lucia Hierro, Mangucito, 2018. Digital print on brushed nylon, felt, and foam. Photo by Matt Eaton. Courtesy of the artist.

Food Material is made possible in part through the generous support of the Active Cultures Board of Directors; Founders Circle members Mehran and Laila Taslimi; and the Wilhelm Family Foundation.


Lucia Hierro was born in New York City and received a BFA from SUNY Purchase (2010) and an MFA from Yale School of Art (2013). Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling, and Elizabeth Dee Gallery, all in New York; Casa Quién, Santo Domingo; the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles; Sean Horton (presents), Dallas; and most recently, a solo show at Primary Projects in Miami. Residencies include Yaddo, Redbull Arts in Detroit, Fountainhead Residency, Bronx Museum's Artist in the Market program, and Casa Quién. Her work is in the collections of JP Morgan Chase, Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes, the Perez Art Museum Miami, and the Rennie Collection in Vancouver. Lucia lives and works in New York.

Bianca Morán is a curator, educator, and writer based in Los Angeles. She is the Adjunct Assistant Curator and Public Programs Coordinator at Active Cultures. A former K-16 educator in Los Angeles, her work is deeply informed by culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy. Her research interests include history, race and ethnicity, foodways, diaspora, education and pedagogy, critical theory, film, and visual culture. Bianca holds an M.A. in Curatorial Practice and the Public Sphere from USC, an M.Ed. in Education from UCLA, and a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. She was born in Los Angeles and raised between the Bay Area and LA. Bianca is also a single mother raising her daughter, Paloma.