La Marcha de Ernesto Che Lincoln
This silkscreen is the third print of a series started in 2006 at the Serie Project. In the background of each of the three prints Tony Ortega has created hybrids of American and Latino cultures. In the first print “La Marcha de Lupe Liberty” he uses the Statue of Liberty who is one of the most recognizable icons of the U.S. worldwide, and she represents liberty and escape from oppression. Ortega also uses Our Lady of Guadalupe who is Catholic icon and Mexico’s most popular image. The second print created at the Serie Project in 2010 “La Marcha de los Desvalidos” he uses the background of Mount Rushmore and the change in the images of the U.S. presidents into Latino activists, revolutionaries, artists: Cesar Chavez, Ernesto Che Guevara, Frida Khalo and Rodolfo Corky Gonzales.
In the third image, Ortega has created a hybrid image of Abraham Lincoln and Ernesto Che Guevarra. The Lincoln Memorial is a U.S. national monument created to pay tribute the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The memorial is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on August 28th, 1963. One of his most important historical moves toward ending slavery centered on the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Lincoln helped push through Congress the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which permanently outlawed slavery.
Ernesto Che Guevarra was an Argentine, medical doctor, Marxist, revolutionary, author, guerrilla fighter, diplomat and military theorist, and he was a major figure of the Cuban Revolution; his facial features have become an omnipresent countercultural symbol of rebellion and a worldwide symbol in popular culture. Guevara continues to be an admired and disparaged historical figure as a result of his martydom, poetic chants for class struggle and desires to create the consciousness of a “new man” driven by moral instead of material motivations; he has evolved into a quintessential icon of various leftist movements. Time magazine named Che one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
The bottom portion of the three prints:
Ortega created an then incorporated an image from the May 1, 2006 march. This march was an important day in U.S. history: ten million immigrants, activists and allies in over 200 cities from across the country chose to skip work, school and the normal daily routine to participate in “A Day Without Immigrants”. A national boycott, general strikes, rallies and symbolic actions were held in order to demand basic rights for all immigrants, and to build a new multi-ethnic united civil rights movement.
Tony Ortega was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up between his birthplace and Denver, Colorado. He received a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1995 and is currently an assistant professor of fine art at Regis University. His work is about presenting the Latino experience through individual slices of life of the community, family and many other sectors of present-day society, both urban and rural. Each artwork is only part of the total picture, the Latino experience: not as an isolated phenomenon but as an active, integral part of American society.
Watch the video interview with Tony Ortega from Serie XVII on YouTube: