Jim Fitzpatrick, the Irish artist who made the world famous two tone print of Che Guevara. Jim met Che Guevara when he was 16 working in a pub in Kilkee in 1961. Che was stranded on an overnight flight from Moscow to Cuba and had touched down at Shannon Airport. Unable to depart because of thick fog, Che and his accompanying Cubans took 2 days off for an unofficial visit.
Jim was working as a barman at the Marine Hotel pub in Kilkee as a summer job. Che Guevara walked in with two Cuban associates and ordered a whiskey. Jim immediately recognised him because of his interest in the Cuban Revolution. Knowing about the Irish diaspora and history in Argentina, Jim asked Che vaguely about his roots. Che told Fitzpatrick that his grandmother was Irish and that his great grandmother, Isabel, was from Galway, with other family being from Cork.
Following Che's death in 1967, the faithful meeting inspired Jim to create this two tone print of Guevara. It spread rapidly and became one of the most reproduced images in the world. Jim wanted to ensure Guevara was not forgotten by the world, so he created the famous poster copyright free. He never claimed a penny from the millions that were undoubtedly made from its popularity. In 2012, Jim recopyrighted the iconic red and black Che Guevara graphic and immediately handed over the copyright and all rights to the family of Guevara in Cuba.
Jim is an absolute gentleman and a unique artist who keeps Irish myths, storytelling and rebellious spirit alive through his work.