Korda vs. Fairey

After reading the introduction the first week of class, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the rest of Che’s Afterlife. On account of my research paper topic, the Shephard Fairey image of Barack Obama was at the forefront of my mind while reading Casey. Korda’s image of Che resembles the Fairey image of Barack Obama and both men have essentially become brands that can be bought and sold in a public marketplace. However, Che’s consumer appeal was established primarily after his death, whereas Obama is in the midst of making his own brand and legacy. It is problematic that in both cases, the images of these two extremely influential men do not necessarily stand for their beliefs or causes but have come to represent more of their commercial appeal. Ironically, Che once said, “man really attains the state of complete humanity when he produces, without being forced by physical need to sell himself as a commodity”. While the image of Che is meant to be a symbol of his anti-capitalist beliefs and still partially holds this meaning, the Fairey image serves no other purpose than to market Obama. This explicit difference between two ostensibly comparable images illustrates how celebrity and branding has made its way into politics.

Comments are closed.