As awesome as Peruvian cakes: Bolivian cakes. My obsession with psychedelic pastries continues…
After a couple of weeks back in the U.S., I’m still trying to shift my brain from the Andes back to California. But one of the many pieces of art that keeps occupying space at the top of my brain is the above sculpture of Saint James, at the Casa Garcilaso in Cuzco. The saint, one of the Twelve Apostles, is frequently depicted slaying a Moor. (Though he was beheaded in Jerusalem in AD 44, legend has it that Saint James appeared to fight on the side of the Christians in a Christians-versus-Moors face-off in Spain exactly 800 years later — hence the image.)
But in the sculpture above, Saint James (Santiago, in Spanish) is shown slaying an Inca. The piece above is a replica of a sculpture from a church in the Apurimac region, which lies west of Cuzco. Unfortunately, the wall text provided little in the way of specifics — such as a date when it may have been made or if this was a common motif of the era. My semi-educated guess is that it was made at some point in the 18th century or thereabouts. Whatever the specifics, this surely has to be one of the most moving pieces of art I saw during my trip…
The Casa Garcilaso-Museo Histórico Regional is located on the Plaza Regocijo. It is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 8am to 5pm. Entrance for foreigners is with the boleto turístico.
An owl man figure. The museum’s director, Andrés Álvarez Calderón, who led us on an incredible tour of the collection, says that all ancient cultures conveyed the supernatural with hybrid human-bird figures or hybrid human-feline figures — and sometimes both traits at once.
Is Paris Burning? No, but this wax candle sculpture by Urs Fischer was. Part of an installation at the École de Beaux Arts, the piece had already lost his head.
On view through December 31. (Photo by Shoshi Nice.)
Apparently, this is a thing in Cuzco: so-called ‘Korean haircuts’ — as in haircuts inspired by K-Pop bands. Neither the people getting the haircuts or giving them are Korean, which makes this even more intriguing. And Peru doesn’t have a significant Korean population. (In fact, if there is a Korean population, it’s so small it doesn’t turn up in the official census stats.) Yet, somehow, K-Pop has entered the cultural ether (likely through the internet) and a few salons around town cater to lovers of the genre’s studiously disheveled shag ‘dos.