Frank Blázquez
Twin girls in black standing in the New Mexico desert.

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The Gallegos Twins from Belen, NM
Collection of the artist

Having developed a chemical dependency in Chicago, Frank Blazquez moved to New Mexico in 2010 with the hope of starting anew. Yet, within a short time, he returned to drug use and became a participant in Albuquerque’s narcotics trade. Resolved to rehabilitate himself, he returned to college and began this series of photographs. New Mexicans soon started reaching out to him, asking that he make their portraits and tell their stories.

Here, Bunny (left) and Aubrey (right) Gallegos, of Belen, New Mexico, stand near Rio Communities Boulevard. “Proud to use the term Chicana, they say it is equally important to use the label New Mexican,” Blazquez said. Bunny and Aubrey, like many in the state, are proud of their New Mexican heritage and can trace their roots back to 1706, when King Philip II of Spain granted colonists permission to settle Albuquerque.