Dr. Steve Stein is Professor of History at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Dr. Stein received his B.A. in History from Brandeis University and his M.A. in Latin American Studies and Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. His numerous books and articles include Populism in Peru: The Emergence of the Masses and the Politics of Social Control (University of Wisconsin Press, 1980) and Lima obrera: 1900-1930 .2005 0-7734-6217-1
This volume traces in text and photographs the life and work of Peruvian folk artist Nicario Jiménez Quispe. One of Latin America's most renowned and original practitioners of this art form, Jiménez combines peasant traditions of his birthplace high in Peru's Central Andes with a keen eye and searching mind to create unique works of social and political as well as aesthetic impact. Jiménez expresses himself artistically through the creation of retablos, wooden boxes with colorful, complex and moving three-dimensional scenes portraying a variety of subjects that range from the daily lives and rituals of the Andean peasant to the political and social violence that has swept his home country of Peru over the past two decades. In some of his more recent work, Jiménez has also focused on social, political and cultural phenomena in North America with retablos that depict the human rights struggle in the United States and the plight of Hispanic immigrant who travel to El Norte. Examples of Jiménez's works may be found in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian Institution, the International Folklore Museum in Santa Fe, the Folk Art Museum in San Francisco and the Museum of Man in San Diego. In addition to illustrations of Jimenez's most important works, this volume contains interviews with the artist and essays by historians, art historians and anthropologists specializing in Latin America that describe his fascinating life's journey from Andean peasant to successful artist as well as evaluating the significance of his art.