Painter Fernando Saldías offers this response to an article published in the previous issue of Caretas magazine (Lima) concerning the competition sponsored by the Gobierno Revolucionario de las Fuerzas Armadas [Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces] (first phase, 1968-75) to create the official portrait of the indigenous forefather of the independence movement, Tupac Amaru II.
José Gabriel Condorcanqui, Túpac Amaru II, was an Incan curaca (chieftain) who, in 1780, led the most important Andean rebellion against the Spanish empire. Although he was marginalized to criollo historical studies, he was adopted as an emblem by the Gobierno Revolucionario de las Fuerzas Armadas led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968-1975), which was marked by reforms to nationalize [industries] and a great interest in symbolic representation. The dearth of portraits from the [aforementioned] era led to the creation of an official competition [see in the ICAA digital archive (865422)], which was marked by controversy due to the decision not to recognize any of the ninety-four works assembled with an award. [See in the ICAA digital archive “Declaran desierto el Concurso de Pintura ‘Túpac Amaru II’” by Alfredo Arrisueño Cornejo (865498)]. One of the painters who earned an honorable mention, Milner Cajahuaringa, publicly renounced this recognition. The proposal for a second competition never came to fruition; the jury included officials from nearly all the arts institutions [in Peru].
[As complementary reading on Túpac Amaru II, see these texts in the ICAA digital archive: “¿Cómo fue Túpac Amaru?”, by General EP Felipe de la Barra (865441); “Convocan a concurso: monumento a Túpac Amaru se levantará en el Cuzco”, no author listed (1053438); “Convocan a concurso de pintura para perpetuar la imagen plástica del mártir José Gabriel Condorcanqui”, no author listed (865422); “Declaran desierto el Concurso de Pintura “Túpac Amaru II’”, by Alfredo Arrisueño Cornejo (865498); “En busca de la imagen arquetípica de Túpac Amaru”, no author listed (865702); “El retrato de Túpac Amaru”, by Daniel Valcárcel (1052165); and “Túpac Amaru: ¿verdadero retrato?”, by A. O. Z. (865460)].