Che Gavara White on White

Silkscreen on paper

100.6 x 76.2 cms


A print of the Artist as Che Guevara in white on a white background. Printed in the style of an Andy Warhol silkscreen

The Artist made a series of artworks based on revolutionaries from 1998 to 2000. First he made a self-portrait waxwork as the French revolution activist Marat lying (perhaps) dead, assassinated in the bath where he was suffering from an acute skin condition.
Then he made a waxwork of Che Guevara caught like a specimen, trapped in a glass case with his army fatigues and his gun. This figure was posed in the same stance as the 'Pop', 1993, the first of the Artist's works to be bought by the Saatchi Collection. This is a waxwork self-portrait of Sid Vicious singing 'My Way' whilst posed as Elvis in the Andy Warhol 'Triple Elvis' picture. Finally he made a morbid waxwork self-portrait as Che Guevera after his assassination in Bolivia. The pose of the figure was taken from the moment when the Bolivians had redressed his body to resemble the classic media image of Che. This image was taken from the photograph taken by Albert Korda in 1957.
Che Guevara is a heroic figure whose early death added to his ever-growing mythology. The Artist is interested in him because he has become one of the most famous and all pervasive symbols of anti-establishment and counter culture throughout the world. Every western teenager who is reacting against the authority of their parents or of the state has a poster of Che Guevara up on their bedroom wall. Many political movements have appropriated the image for their cause: even pacifist causes such as the recent Anti-war march carried images of Che Guevara, even though he is always pictured in army fatigues carrying weapons about to go on some rebel offensive or other. During this period the Artist made some images for posters and some screen prints of himself as Che Gavara (sic), in the Andy Warhol factory style - with colours overlaid with colours - the image Warhol never made. Gavara (White on White)' is one of those images, this time an almost invisible, creamy white image on a white background. Camouflaged in the white of the gallery, strangely deathlike and neutral.