Laurie Zuckerman is developing a book of her photography of cemetery nichos from the Southwest and Mexico. I am hoping to complete this extensive project this year. I am working through years of photograph journeys and have begun to layout the 160-page book. For a taste of what my collection will contain, here are three of my favorite photos of vandalized nichos with missing or disintegrated plaster saints. Vandalism and neglect in Hispanic Catholic graveyards in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas is sadly rampant. These two particular gravestones from Colorado date back to approximately the 1930s and 40s. It is impossible to know when they were damaged. The startling quality of these nichos is the lasting impression cast by the saint that once sat protected under the thick curved glass. If you are familiar with Jim Dine's drawings of men's robes, you might see the similarity that I see. Dine's robes float with no human head or body. Down in New Mexico I found this first nicho with the Infant of Prague's head fallen off and teetering.
Please visit Rebecca Brooks' blog for more links to images and thoughts in her weekly post, Stumbling Toward Ecstasy: http://corazon.typepad.com/recuerda_mi_corazon/2011/02/stumbling.html