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American Graffiti

I first visited Three Rivers, New Mexico in 2007, during a snowstorm and made Into the White. I had hiked in the snow and climbed the rocky hill to make photographs of the petroglyphs, however, my foothold was not firm and I risked falling.

I returned in 2022 and made this photograph of a 1,000 to 2,000 year old rock etching (petroglyph). I hiked up the hill at dusk and included the sunset in the frame. On my way back to my truck, I imagined young Native Americans scratching up all of the rocks while elders yelled at them to stop graffiti’ing up the neighborhood. I laughed at the thought that the petroglyphs reduced the value of their dwellings.

The very next day, within a hundred miles of Three Rivers, I made a photograph of a spray-paint graffiti bird. It caught my attention and I made a series of exposures. It was not until several hours later that I realized both images were American graffiti, only 1,000 years apart.


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