Punky Llama Party
"it takes a joyful sound, to make the world go 'round" Bob Marley from album Babylon by Bus
Punky Llama Party (2015-2018) returns to my roots in Peru through friendly “portraits” of llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicuña, four south American native camelids, members of the camel family. The llama and alpaca are domestic, while the guanaco and vicuña are wild. They are used for fur and meat, and as pack animals. The Inca valued vicuñas highly for their wool, and it was against the law for anyone but royalty to wear vicuña garments; today the vicuña is the national animal of Peru and appears in the Peruvian coat of arms. In these portraits I portray these beautiful animals as resilient, strong, graceful, and funny, with personalities of their own.
The word vicuña is also used as a slur for “Cholo” or “Indian.” The Indians are sometimes given the name “cara de vicuña” (face of an animal). In Peru there is a practice of self-loathing towards our indigenous “Quechua hablante” (Quechua speakers). When an individual has brown skin, they are referred to as “Cholos.” Ironically, the word Cholo can be used as an insult or as a badge of pride. You may hear the phrase “Los Peruanos son tan feos” (The Peruvians are so ugly) referring to their indigenous features. Many of my works ask the questions, “Why don’t we see the beauty in our country and people?” and “Why do we want to rid ourselves of indigenous features and heritage?”
each punky llama is
Height: 7 1/2 "
Width: 5 1/2 "
Depth: 1 5/8 "