Che, born Michael Che Romero, August 16, 1979, in Spokane, Washington.
As a young disillusioned child, Michael used doodling as an outlet to deal with growing family and world concerns. At the age of 10 he scared all of his teachers with his first masterpiece – a depiction of a demonic priest with a burning church in the background. From the middle to high school years, he was showcased at several student galleries and it was here that the foundation of his work, deeply rooted in the street art movement, was solidified. While in high school, he became notorious for his graffiti art under the name ‘TEC’.
Michael, however, was not always pushed to be an artist. At the age of 12, he was already 6’1” and he was encouraged to play basketball and football. Art went to the backburner and his time was spent at late night practices. He became so strong at sports that he won several AAU Regional Basketball Championships in Washington and then won an athletic scholarship to Central Washington University to play collegiate level football. This passion and sheer focus for sports, in the end, helped create the focus and dedication he needed to be an artist.
When Michael attended college at Central Washington University, he began as a business student but it was evident his passions and talent were elsewhere. While balancing a hectic football schedule, Michael changed his major to General Arts and never looked back. He was exposed to all levels of Art (from welding / metal-smithing to photography, graphic design, sculpture, and woodworking). It was painting, however, that Michael was most inspired by and he became the creator and originator of the street art tapestry.
As one of the leaders of the PRAWN (Painted & Drawn ) movement, a group of talented student artists influenced by post-modern art movements including Dada, Michael and his crew created their own art gallery in a street alley of downtown Ellensburg where they displayed various art work, including stencils, paintings, murals, sculptures, graffiti art, and music.
The inspiration for the VivaChe campaign was spawned from the PRAWN movement and VivaChe became the rebirth of Michael Romero, the student athlete artist, to Che, the social political artist, painter, and revolutionary.
Che’s philosophy is grounded within underground art – always seeking a revolutionary movement to enlighten the masses. Che realized that students in public schools were not exposed to revolutionaries in North and South America – and he believed that through his pieces he would inspire others into social – political art. Che’s ideology has always been that street art does not need to be in the gallery to be judged – but by creating the tapestry, he forces both the masses and the elite to question, to think, and most importantly, to expose and educate them to a world they may not have seen before.
In 2006, Che created a Mexican revolutionary wheat pasting campaign combined with the VivaChe posters that were showcased all over the streets of Ellensburg and Seattle, WA.
In the Summer of 2007, Che created the first wheat pasting campaign for President Obama, that was shown all over the streets of Seattle, WA to high critical acclaim.
In March 2008, Che had his first art gallery showing in Spokane, WA at a local billiards tavern, where his street art tapestries were hung to high praise, including the “Marcos Salute, “Ape
Hierarchy”, “Chavez”, and “The Great Ape”.
Currently, Che lives in the Los Angeles where he is working on new creations (from tapestries to poster campaigns) and looks forward to art showings to come