This exhibition is about a single image: Guerrillero Heróico; Ché Guevara's portrait shot by cuban photographer Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, known as "Korda" (1928-2001) on March 5, 1960 in Havana, Cuba.
This portrait of Ché is said to be the most widely reproduced image in the history of the photograph, unpublished until after Che’s death and then reproduced in large numbers. The cropped version of this portrait, developed into a key icon for the post ‘68 generation, reproduced on murals, posters and T shirts, it became a symbol of rebellion and remains an icon to youth outside the political mainstream both in Europe, the U.S. and Latin America.
In the eighties and nineties it was reclaimed in the first world as radical-chic, to a new generation who knew little if nothing about the person or the ideological beliefs of the man behind the portrait. The image appeared on designer goods selling beers, vodka, watches and clothing, even tattooed onto the torso of the boxer Mike Tyson.
The image has also been incorporated into the work of many artists appearing in paintings, prints and photographic images. A great deal has been written about this image.
Italian writer, Giuliana Skime in a catalog text, for the exhibition Alberto Korda: "Momenti della Storia", in 1988, compared, Guerrillero Heróico to the iconic image of the Mona Lisa, in its gaze, arguing that the portrait of Ché captures the ideals of its time!
Photo-historian, Vicki Goldberg, in her book, "The Power of Photography", argues that "the 'portrait of Ché' did more for his cause than the man himself accomplished in his lifetime! ”
David Kunzle, art-historian and author of Ché Guevara Icon, Myth and Message wrote: "How do we stand in relation to the Cult of Ché? Corporate media like to deride the very process in which they are engaged, which is to reduce the revolutionary to the role of 'leftist pop star'."
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