In 2007 Arizona artist David Taylor began photographing the monuments that mark the border between Mexico and the United States west of the Rio Grande. Aiming to document each of the 276 obelisks installed by the International Boundary Commission following the Mexican-American War, Taylor’s project echoes a visual survey made by the photographer D. R. Payne between 1891 and 1895. While many people have photographed the border, there has been no complete documentation of the monuments in more than 100 years.
This publication encapsulates a seven-year effort across 690 miles that functions equally as geographic survey, typology and endurance project.
David Taylor graduated with a BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University in 1989. In 1994, he earned an MFA from the University of Oregon. Taylor’s work has been exhibited in institutions across the nation, among them the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, The New Mexico Museum of Art and the El Paso Museum of Art. His images can be found in the permanent collections of Fidelity Investments, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum. A wide variety of publications have featured Taylor’s work, such as The New Yorker blog, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Orion Magazine, PREFIX PHOTO, Fraction Magazine and the Mexico/Latin America Edition of Esquire Magazine, among others. In 2010, Taylor’s Working the Line was published by Radius Books and has since received multiple “best book” and design excellence awards.