A leading Peruvian artist, Ernesto Gutierrez, was born in Lima, Peru, in 1941. His father was a Spaniard and his mother was a descendant of the Inca. Gutierrez has been influenced by both local and global artistic factors: pre-Columbian forms and native-popular Peruvian art and also by modern French masters such as Cezanne, Gaugin, and to some extent, Matisse. The boldness of Gutierrez's colors creates an almost sensual excitement: shocking pink, chartreuse, mauve, and the whole gamut of blues, purples, and greens, often underlined and emphasized by complementary colors. Gutierrez's sensibility strikes the viewer as essentially Spanish, while his inspiration derives from his Inca heritage, Peruvian landscapes, and folklore.
We see all of these aspects in the painting "Huacos". The word huacos refers to an artifact or relic of pre-Columbian Peru. The increasingly saturated, cool purple tones around the perimeter of the composition lead the viewer's eye to the center. Here a woman clutches desperately to a piece of pottery, assumedly a huaco. Whether she discovered it in the crowd she seems to be caught in, made it herself, or discovered it in an ancient ruin, the viewer can not deny the importance the pottery has to her.