Latino, Oriental and Black. Wherever you go in the world you are likely to see these images. Unlike the other cultural icons of the last century; Monroe, Mickey Mouse, Madonna for example, they are seen globally. In back waters and obscure places you are more likely to see one of these people staring at you from a wall, a faded T Shirt a billboard or a stencilled image.
As cultural icons go there are few that rival them. Even Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, Charlie Chaplin or Maradona are not as wide spread in their identification; huge in the West and most parts of the world but not in the dark corners, the nooks and crannies of the world. Nothing manufactured just three people that have a meaning and capture something for those global citizens who aren't reliant on who's who just whats what.
There’s something about their non American status, the inherent rebellion perhaps or relatively early deaths that makes them iconic. It’s telling that thus far in the 21st Century there are no equivalents and there probably never will be, as homogenisation is rampant. I doubt we will again see cultural identifiable icons that aren't controlled images from the minds of Time Warner and Simon Cowell. a real shame