Truly, Art Santa Fe was a fairly uninspired collection of gallery booths - with the exception of the reliable Monroe Gallery, in town, who represent Stephen Wilkes, and had some wonderful new photographs by him - some from his "China Old and New" series, and a couple of "Bethlehem Steel." I have loved his Ellis Island pictures since I first saw them, and fantasize about being able to afford one - hauntingly melancholic views of the old quarantine and fever hospital quarters. The same haunting quality is present in the three Chinese views on show, especially one of a snowy bridge in winter with a humpy little mountain behind the village - a curious mixture of a Chinese water color and, because of the way in which the bridge reflection is treated, an old-fashioned Cotswold view. And all the images of rural China are melancholic when one puts them alongside (on his website, though not on show in this booth) Wilkes's images of factories. The Bethlehem steel pictures are themselves full of perspectives that offer up the vast scale of industrial inaction.
But in general, it was more interesting to look around at the ways in which the whole railyard district is being developed - a scary enterprise in a bad economy. This wall is the western side of a big youth center, and although doubtless it - like many Santa Fe blank spaces - will grow a mural soon, I rather like the dialogue that's taking place on it right now.