Selected photographs from
RED WHITE BLUE AND GOD BLESS YOU: A PORTRAIT OF NORTHERN NEW MEXICO
For two decades, living in a beautiful and isolated place, among Americans with a distinct language, character, and culture, I have often felt myself an expatriate in my own country.
Many American writers, photographers, and painters decide to leave the familiar in hopes of gaining insight and perspective in another land. Some flee the values and prejudices of provincial America to bask in what seems a more sophisticated foreign light. To harvest their art, others cultivate isolation in a place where responsibilities are few and time for work is ample. For still others, the new country itself is the primary interest. They want to enter and explore it, to render it, to come to know it in every way possible. If they are welcomed, if doors are opened to invite them inside, they may feel so at ease in new rooms, so immersed in another life, that the adopted country begins to look and feel like home, while the country of their birth seems foreign or strange.
Alex Harris, from the introduction to Red White Blue and God Bless You, 1992
I became friends with Juan Dominguez, a soft-spoken young man who had worked for five years in an Albuquerque body shop and then, fed up with city life, returned to Chamisal to farm, to raise horses and dogs, and to try to make a living by restoring old cars. The flat lot across the irrigation ditch from Juan’s mother’s house was littered with his potential.
With my view camera and color film, I photographed the main street of the old village of Chamisal through the window of Juan’s 1957 Chevrolet Impala convertible. With the exception of the car window in the foreground, this was practically the same view that had interested Russell Lee on assignment from the Farm Security Administration over fifty years before.
From the Introduction to “Red White Blue and God Bless You.”