About the Book
‘The landscape of West Texas would like to kill you . Everything that walks, crawls, or flies is perpetually hungry. The land itself is barren scrub yet teeming life--snakes, scorpions, lizards , assorted cacti, indian paintbrushes, buzzards and Coyotes; human, and the other kind--would like to eat your ass off.
This is the same landscape of Cormac McCarthy's dark and nihlistic 'No Country for old Men'-- a pitch-black expanse of dirt that produces great Music, great Art, and the blackest of humors. It is life and death. Eat or be eaten. Where standing upright--on this side of the dirt is, at times, triumph enough.
When I look at Mariano Chavez' new body of work --there is an instinct to laugh and be horrified at the same time-- The Hair-raising new Masks made from shedded snakeskin are at once a 'momento mori' as well as a warning--cultural and spiritual--past these faces lie the truth of all things. We will have a last meal. A last sunset. A last favorite song. A last slow dance. We are all headed for the other side of the dirt.'
Tony Fitzpatrick (excerpt from This Side of the Dirt-- Mortality, The Border, and the devouring landscape-- new work by Mariano Chavez)