"If It Ain't Broken, Rusty or Dead, I Ain't Interested"
This is New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, where time really can stand still. The blend of ancient and modern cultures is a delectable stew. At every turn we are invited to explore our geography, history, and ultimately our perspective. With my Canon 5D, Fujifilm XT1 or iPhone, I have documented my surroundings for over a decade. I've barely scratched the surface.
Wanting to have a tangible collection of these photographs, and I do so love hard copies, I went online to create a hardcover book entitled Quirky New Mexico. Many of the places in the book no longer exist. Tiny Town, a roadside attraction created by an eccentric woman called Tattoo Tammy, was located on Highway 14 between Cerrillos and Madrid. It was a treasure trove of photographic - and tetanus - opportunities. She had created a fantasy village made with rusty things, broken things, bones and trash.
At the entrance there was a handmade sign that read “It it ain’t broken, rusty or dead, I ain’t interested.” Tiny Town boasted a “river” of glass, and a bowling alley with empty beer bottles for pins. She set up dioramas: a jail, a chapel, a casino, a cemetery, even a saloon where a Barbie doll and GI Joe were often found in compromising positions.
Tiny Town existed for eleven years, until Tammy got into a dispute with her landlord and, so the tale is told, sold some things and burned the rest.
But wait! There’s more!
Fridgehenge was the brainchild of artist Adam Horowitz. As Stonehenge is aligned to solar and lunar astronomical events, “Fridgehenge” or “Stonefridge,” constructed with junkyard regrigerators, was geographically aligned to the Los Alamos National Laboratories. It was assembled in 1996 at a landfill in northwest Santa Fe, and dismantled by the City in 2007.
By the time I discovered it, it was ravaged with graffiti and ruination. Still, with the sun setting on this life-sized recreation of an iconic monument, the political ramifications were dwarfed by the absurd beauty of it all.
Throughout the book, twenty-four images reflect New Mexico’s unconventional viewpoints. Some environments were deliberately created to entertain, such as Tiny Town and Fridgehenge. The feather in the wall and the 14th century pueblo ruins in Abo are naturally peculiar. Some simply illustrate the inevitable affects of the passage of time.
The book was printed by MyPublisher. They are going out of business May 2017, and are referring customers to Shutterfly. If you're interested in purchasing Quirky New Mexico contact me. $40 includes shipping anywhere in the continental US. Below is a photo of me with the hardcover book which measures 9" x 12".
Thank you for traveling with me!