Peacock Alley is just a couple of blocks from Alamo Plaza which is perpetually crowded with tourists. There are no tourists in Peacock Alley. It is part of the bones of the city, servicing back doors of upscale hotels and sheltering people that tourists would rather not see. It is a place for workmen, cooks and maids to catch a quick smoke out if sight.
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I have long been fascinated with Mexican photographers, muralist and filmmakers. They seem to share a certain perspective on the world that is unique to their country. Maybe it is an expression of deep cultural roots or possibly a reaction to traumas suffered over the last few hundred years. There is nothing like the destruction of multiple civilizations to change the way you perceive the world. Whatever it is I am drawn to the imagery of Mexico.
At various times I have obsessed about what sort of photographic ‘style’ I should adopt. What constitutes proper technique and the constraints of craft? The answer for me is to stop thinking in terms of limits. Everyone has unique vision. That is literally true because our visual perception is based in DNA and life experience. I can learn from others but I can only express what I see and feel. The same is true for the image makers of Mexico. Still there is something shared in their work.
For many years I have lived in multi-cultural Texas and New Mexico. There are rich experiences to be found in places where people of different backgrounds choose to live together. My roots are shallow in the new world unlike my wife’s family. They have lived in the place now known as Texas for hundreds of years while the flags changed over them. I am influenced by the cultures around me.
I can never see photographically in the way anyone else sees. Let alone the photographers of Mexico. My work may be informed by the work of others but it is unique to me. There is no other way.