FOUR & TWENTY PHOTOGRAPHS
By Craig Varjabedian
University of New Mexico Press ($29.95)
Some of the pictures in Varjabedian's Four and Twenty Photographs seem hauntingly familiar. "Moonrise over Penitente Morada" is clearly an homage to Ansel Adams' famous "Moonrise Over Hernandez," and "Cerro Pedernal No. 2, Sunset" captures Georgia O'Keeffe's favorite muse. Some of the photographs will make you smile with recognition; there's the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi covered in snow and a mural-covered lowrider in front of the Santuario de Chimayo. But the best images are the ones that surprise you: Archbishop Michael Sheehan, in full regalia, surrounded by a flock of sheep (yes, the furry, four-legged kind), and a rugged-looking cowboy with his loyal…Boston terrier?
IN NEW MEXICO LIGHT
By Douglas Kent Hall
Museum of New Mexico Press ($55)
Hall's In New Mexico Light is an honest, fond portrait of the people who make this place the fascinating cultural stew that it is. There's a mad-eyed Sikh, an old woman with "Do Not Resuscitate" tattooed across her liver-spotted torso, Tony Hillerman at his desk and a flamenco dancer in passionate flight across a stage. Some of the portraits have a stark, head-on quality that is Avedon-esque; others, like "La Villita," of a plaintive girl in a humble kitchen, bring to mind Bruce Davidson's East 100th Street series. But these are just coincidences. Hall's intimate, informed style is all his own.
HISTORIC NEW MEXICO CHURCHES
By Annie Lux and
Gibbs Smith ($29.95)
A fascinating look inside churches you never knew existed, this collection takes you beyond Loretto Chapel and the Santuario de Chimayo, to the crumbling edifice of San Isidro in Sapello and Nuestra Señora de los Lagos in Talpa. As a history of churches in the state, it's fascinating-if you're into that kind of thing. But it's worth it even if you only care about architecture and read little more than the captions.