Features. Literature, Visual Arts, Dance, Film & Other Vices. Archives
Argentina: See No Evil
Tourists in Buenos Aires don’t take pictures of auto inspection garages in Floresta, a working-class neighborhood, but I was not exactly a tourist and I knew this place as something else.
I had seen it before — if only in photographs more than a decade old. It looked changed.
Once touted as “The Social Center of the South,” the 50-room Hampton House Motel and Villas were, in the 1960s and up to the early ‘70s, a prime destination for African-Americans in segregated Miami.
“The Hampton House was at the center of the entertainment political and social change at the time,” says Xavier Vega, vice-president of the nonprofit Historic Hampton House Community Trust, which manages de place. “It was marketed as the first luxury hotel in the South. It was primarily for African-Americans, but the interesting story about the Hampton House was that a lot of the people who came here to perform attracted an interracial audience. So part of what we want to do is to celebrate that history of diversity and reach all different demographics.”
By the time he was captured and killed in Bolivia, Ernesto “Che” Guevara was shadowed by failures. His last was leading a small leftist guerrilla group in the Bolivian mountains on a campaign to spark a continental war of liberation. Taken wounded after a battle with the Bolivian army on Oct. 8, 1967, Guevara was executed the next day on the dirt floor of a schoolhouse in La Higuera, a hamlet in southern Bolivia.
It was an inglorious end to an adventure that had become an unmitigated disaster.
It’s a late Friday morning at Britto Central on Lincoln Road and a casually elegant couple is being led around the gallery by an attendant, price list in hand. In the small office in the back of the gallery, the phone rings nonstop.
Sitting in a second-floor studio, oblivious to the employees frantically moving about the place, Romero Britto, 34, is putting brush to canvas. The piece, a familiar Britto composition of a cartoonish human figure and flowers, is fully sketched in pencil. His style, all bright colors, graffiti-like squiggles and figures delineated in wide black lines, evokes the pop art of Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. Britto’s brush strokes are clean, efficient, and fast. In fact, he applies the paint so evenly, so precisely that the result has a nearly industrial feel.