Arístides Ureña Ramos


Banana Calipso






120 x 100cm


Mixed acrylic on cotton canvas

Credits: Private Collection

Appropriating the logo belonging to the banana company Chiquita Brands, the Panamanian artist Aristides Ureña Ramos reflects on his native country’s past and its relationship with the history of the banana industry. Using rapid loose brushstrokes and a colour palette of only warm colours that invoke the tropics, Ureña Ramos has created a series of paintings depicting the iconic exoticised and sexualised woman who still features on the Chiquita logo. The reinvented logo appears in the centre of this painting but the artist has moved away from the pop aesthetics of the original and introduced allusions to Italian Renaissance art, such as the putti and cupids that surround the central figure in the painting entitled Banana Calipso. Ureña Ramos, who studied in Italy and has lived in Florence since the 1980s, creates cultural links through his works and references to the past of both Panama, where he was born, and Italy, where he is now based, can be found on the same surface. More than a critique of the repercussions from the banana enclaves being set up in Panama and the subsequent abuses, Ureña Ramos uses this appropriation of the Chiquita Brands logo to recover collective memory.