The Che Image, 40 Years Later
Travel Blog • Jim Benning • 10.09.07 | 5:32 PM ET
Forty years ago today, Che Guevara was killed by CIA-backed Bolivian soldiers, and the anniversary has prompted gatherings around the Latin world—Bolivian President Evo Morales, fresh off a visit to The Daily Show, choppered in for an event near the site where Che was killed. Predictably, media outlets have published a slew of stories about the man, the myth, the travelers on the “Che Trail” and the iconic image.
In one of the more interesting reflections, the BBC recounts how the famed Alberto Korda photo of Che looking muy macho in his trademark beret wound up in the hands of graphic artist Jim Fitzpatrick, whose 1960s high-contrast illustration based on the photo has become so enduring.
““I deliberately designed it to breed like rabbits,” Fitzpatrick said.
The curator of a traveling exhibit of Che imagery told the BBC: “There is a theory that an image can only exist for a certain amount of time before capitalism appropriates it. But capitalism only wants to appropriate images if they retain some sense of danger.”
I like the Che image on this tortilla by tortilla artist Joe Bravo. If the image was becoming too safe, Bravo added dark sunglasses. Nothing says danger like dark shades.
Related on World Hum:
* Che and the Image Seen ‘Round the World
* “I Tried to Conquer the Evil Yankee Imperialists and All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt”
* Traveling “The Che Trail”
* Will “The Motorcycle Diaries” Spawn a New Magazine: Condé Nast Revolution?
* Che: the Brand
Photo by Jim Benning.