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now's the time (amauta)

© William Cordova. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

now's the time (amauta)

Artist: William Cordova (Born in Lima, Peru, 1971)
Culture: American; Peruvian
Date: 2009
Medium: Mixed-media collage (graphite, gold leaf, oil stick, dust, hair, watercolor, metallic pen on paper with cut-out magazine and inkjet printer collage)
50 5/8 × 31 5/8 inches (128.6 × 80.3 cm) (sheet)
Classification: Mixed Media
Credit Line: Gift of Marjorie (P’16, P’19, P’19) and Michael Levine (B.S.’84, P’16, P’19, P’19), in honor of Kimerly Rorschach
Label Text:The imagery in now's the time (amauta) expands on the tower of records Cordova created in his 2008 sculpture Greatest Hits and is also a recurring motif in his work. The tower acts as a historical archive, with each record serving as a building block enabling and supporting what comes after it. For Cordova the record functions symbolically as a vessel of history, culture and memory, and as metaphor for the recording of history itself.

The title of Cordova's work references visual artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who in 1985 created a large, black circular painting of a record titled Now's the Time commemorating jazz musician Charlie Parker's 1945 song of the same name. Parker's and Basquiat's works were inspired and influenced by the experiences and art forms of the African Diaspora. By using the same title, Cordova references multiple layers of history and locates his own work within that legacy. The subtitle to Cordova's drawings, (amauta), refers to a Peruvian art, culture, and politics journal from the 1920s, and the earth goddess in Incan mythology.

These works become a personalized account of the records of history, past and present, especially in regard to the artist's Afro-Peruvian heritage. The materials that compose this work reflect Cordova's lived experience and carry personal significance for the artist and his process. Viewers must make their own meaning of what they see, influenced by their personal experiences and associations.

Object number: 2012.17.1