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ERIC Number: EJ962078
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 37
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
The Cinematic Genesis of the Mel Casas Humanscape, 1965-1967
Cordova, Ruben C.
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v36 n2 p51-87 Fall 2011
The 153 paintings that San Antonio-based artist Mel Casas calls Humanscapes were inspired by a glimpse of a drive-in movie screen. This article treats the first three years of work on this series, a period in which the artist referenced cinematic settings and audiences while registering aspects of the sexual revolution. Marshall McLuhan's "Mechanical Bride" (1951) deeply influenced the analysis of media imagery and technology that is evident in these paintings. In addition to contemporary cultural influences, the early phase of the Humanscape series also drew on the same artistic influences, namely surrealism and Dada, that shaped the work of other pop artists. By the end of 1967, Casas included parts of signs within his paintings. These signs led to freestanding, independent texts that doubled as subtitles. By juxtaposing punning texts and images, Casas broke from the explicit cinematic setting. Interviews with Casas and statements by the artist assist in discerning the inner logic of this remarkable series.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A