Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
Cañon de los Artistas.
By Austin Deuel. Scottsdale: Desert Wind Publications, Inc., 1985. Illustrations. 106 Pages. $35.00.
Cañon de los Artistas is a beautiful book-indeed a very beautiful book by artist Austin Deuel, whose love for the natural and man made scene in remote Baja California comes through on every page. Indeed, implicit throughout the book is a plea for the preservation of that scene from the destruction of modern “development.” The book is a collection of excellent reproductions of Deuel paintings, drawings, photographs of sculpture, and photographs of the region, all supplemented by a first person narrative of his experiences in the Sierra de San Francisco area villages and Native American cave paintings. The narrative and the visual materials clearly support Harry Crosby’s thesis in Last of the Californios (1981) that life in remote parts of Baja California today is essentially the same as life in colonial Baja. Deuel also describes the cave paintings of the area, especially those of Gardener, El Cacariso and Flechas caves. Although the title might lead you to think the cave paintings are the focus of the book, the fact is that most of the narrative and pictures relate to the contemporary people and landscape of that part of Baja California. Thus this is not a book for the scholar who wants to study the cave paintings of Baja; it is more of a description/travel account for the nature lover, the Baja buff, or one who loves beautiful books.