Friday, July 05, 2019

The racist, sadist Che Guevara

My father was part of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, and fought under the command of the Argentine adventurer and mass murderer doctor Ernesto (Ché) Guevara de la Serna Lynch. Heart-broken and disillusioned when the Cuban Revolution betrayed its roots and turned Communist, and after a painful internment at a Cuban concentration camp, he brought our family to the United States as a political refugee in the 1960s.

Guevara is one of those obsessions who returns time and time again to my artwork.

In my solo exhibition which opens today (opening 6-8 PM) at the Stone Tower Gallery in beautiful Glen Echo, Guevara makes an appearance as the most often reproduced portrait in history, as the T-shirt god’s quotes are incorporated into his famous visage, but not in the iconic Korda image (considered the most reproduced photograph in history), but in a laughing image of the true Ché, surrounded by some of his most infamous quotes.

Known as “El Chacal de La Cabaña” (The Jackal of La Cabaña – La Cabaña being the Spanish fortress at the mouth of Havana bay where executions took place) to Cubans, Guevara was the mastermind of the mass executions which took place after the Castro triumph. “I don’t need proof to execute a man,” said Che during an interview published in a Cuban newspaper in 1959, “I only need proof that it is necessary to execute him.”

Hatred is the central element of our struggle! Hatred that is intransigent...hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him violent and cold- blooded killing machine...We reject any peaceful approach. Violence is inevitable. To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow! The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! These hyenas are fit only for extermination. We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm! The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!

In “This is Che”, in addition to Guevara’s quotes, an electronic screen, embedded into the mass murderer’s forehead, rotates dozens of images of Guevara’s image in T-shirts from all over the world.

Stone Tower Gallery
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, MD 20812
Exhibition:  F. Lennox Campello: More Obsessions
Exhibition dates: July 5 to 28, 2019
Gallery Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 11am to 6pm and by appointment
Art Walk Reception: Friday, July 5, 6 to 8pm