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Roberto Pacheco (b. 1951), Ambassador, 1985; maple, bronze, steel, acrylic paint, 20 x 6 x 5 inches; Purchased with funds from the Metropolitan Life Foundation, 1986

Roberto Pacheco was born in 1951 in Cuzco, Peru, which was considered by the Incans to be The Center of the World. He spent most of his youth in the capital city of Lima; but left the country when the military forced the closings of educational institutions, foreshadowing the imminent loss of many personal freedoms. Much of his work addresses the politics and heritage of his former home.

In Ambassador, a military-style medal is askew and out of proportion on the abstracted human figure. Small notches painted on the lower back section symbolize the colors of an ancient Incan flag. This ambassador strikes a stoic pose, having knowledge of the history of the Peruvian people; nevertheless, he remains literally unarmed and ill-equipped to negotiate with greater political powers. (NW)