"He was a mass murderer, killed thousands of Cubans execution-style," Exposito, 51, wrote in an email, comparing the long-dead Fidel Castro pal to Adolf Hitler or the KKK. "I spoke to the manager and he referred to it as art!"
Turns out, it's probably not Che. It's another artist's rendering of the revolutionary. But Exposito says it's offensive nonetheless, raising the question: Is an image of an offensive image offensive? Is it art? Both?
The W isn't waiting around for answers, a hotel employee said. She said complaints started almost as soon as the photo, which could exceed seven feet in height, was posted about a week ago. It's supposed to come down.
"We've received feedback," she said. "Complaints."
The man in the photo looks a little different than the Che Guevara in iconic image taken by Alberto Díaz “Korda” Gutiérrez in 1959. Is this a younger Che, someone dressed like Che? There's a good chance that the photo is post-modern self portrait of artist Gavin Turk.
In The Guardian, Turk says he made a photo of himself posed as Che to advertise an exhibition: "It was quite a degraded, grainy image, so I could photograph myself in such a way that you wouldn't recognise that it was me and not, in fact, Che. You only need key elements of the photo - the beret, the long hair, the position of the eyes (as with classical icons, looking up and to the right), a bit of beard - to make it function as a symbol."
But it sure looks enough like Che. And if the hotel doesn't take it down, it might get ripped down, said one person who does business with the hotel.
"I can't believe no one has smashed a glass against it," he said, adding that it was part of the private art collection of one of the owners.
"Dude, it's Che Guevara. This is Miami. You don't do stuff like this. When you go to college in New York state, then it's cool at the time to have poster up. But down here, he's looked at a terrorist. He killed people," he said.