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Mexico City Artifacts


artist's statement


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The precursor to this series, Artifacts, presented the stuff of everyday life as cultural anthropology. By focusing on that which we don't usually see, or rather, we do see but no longer pay attention to, I hope to provide an antidote to the idealized media version of North American life that has colonized our consciousness. See my artist's statement for the Artifacts series.
With this new series, Artefactos, I continue this approach, taking imagery from a culture less familiar, Mexico City. In the Centro Historico district, the oldest part of town, a former conquistador's mansion sports a carved stone jaguar from the conquered, yet assimilated, Aztec culture and pedestrians on the sidewalk brush against it en route to the pharmacia. Computer hard drives, rubber drain stoppers, squeegies, barrets and old TV parts are all sold from tarps on the sidewalk while the electrical grid is grafted willy nilly onto the facades of ancient stone buildings. Back in the hotel room the television, just like at home, pushes the prefab fantasies of the commercial world, but with a Latin American twist.

But on the chaotic street I'm drawn, as always, to the way the dirt shows on things and the colors are bright plastic, the solutions ad hoc. The city offered the kinds of things my lens is drawn to at home, but with the quantity and the volume turned up.

more about the photographs

The images were all taken during a two week trip to Mexico City in the spring of 2001. The array of visual experience in the country of Mexico, and its capital in particular, is invigorating to say the least. In some ways the distance between Mexican culture as depicted by its media and the gritty reality of everyday life is even more stark than it is in the United States. There is a well documented tradition of vernacular hand painted sign painting as well as a thriving army of individual capitalist enterprises in fierce competition.

Once again a digital camera was the tool of choice. These 240 images were culled from the hundreds of exposures made each day in the capital and during short expeditions outside the city. The prints are 13" X 24" (unframed) and printed on Epson Enhanced Matte paper using the Ultrachrome seven color arhival inkset.

As always I'd be happy to talk to anyone interested in purchasing a print or negotiating a fee for commercial use, just contact me. Due to the amount of spam that I receive please be sure to put "Photography Inquiry" in the subject line.

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