1970 Melesio Casas Born: El Paso, Texas 1929 Died: San Antonio, Texas 2014 acrylic on canvas 73 x 97 in. (185.4 x 246.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment © 1970, the Casas Family 2012.37 Not currently on view
In the early 1970s, Chicano activists successfully lobbied the Frito-Lay Company to remove the Frito Bandito from public circulation. This figure, which was the advertising mascot for Frito-Lay corn chips, became the centerpiece of Casa’s pop-styled painting Humanscape 62. Here he surrounded the Frito Bandito with a series of “brown” references drawn from American and indigenous cultures. Such incongruent juxtapositions – which include a tempting plate of brownies, a junior Girl Scout, a Native American in profile, and quotes of masterworks such as a turquoise Aztec mosaic – critique the trivialization of Chicano culture and allude to the rich cultures that stereotypes obscure.
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013
Dress - uniform - scout uniform
Ethnic - Indian
Object - foodstuff - brownie