Newsletter. Aug. 2003
& Social Change
A R T F O R
A C H A N G E
1) - ¡EL GRITO! Liberation of the Spirit. Art Exhibit celebrating
Mexican Independence Day
2) - BOOK REVIEW - Philip Stein's "Siqueiros, his Life and Work."
3) - Mark Vallen's Painting,
"A People Under Command" published in German magazine
4) - Call for Art submissions to "War Stories" exhibition
||The ARTINO Arts
Group of Los Angeles will hold a month long exhibit titled
El Grito - ¡Liberacion del Espiritu!
(The Cry - Liberation of the Spirit!). The group exhibition
celebrates Mexican Independence Day and focuses on
the impact the historic Mexican anti-colonial struggle
has had on the peoples of the Americas.
the show will explore the interplay between Mexico and
the U.S., past and present struggles for liberty and
democracy, cultural identity - immigration, and the
celebration of heritage... all through the eyes of Latino
artists living in L.A.
LANKERSHIM ART GALLERY
District, North Hollywood, California
September 2nd - 30th 2003
Paintings, Prints, Drawings, and Sculpture
OPEN TO THE
PRESS & PUBLIC: Tuesday, Sept. 2nd - 6th.
ARTIST'S RECEPTION: Saturday, Sept. 6th. 7 - 10 pm.
CLOSING PARTY: Saturday, Sept. 27th. 3 - 6 pm.
EXHIBIT ENDS: Tuesday, Sept. 30th.
The ARTIST'S RECEPTION will be held at the
Gallery on Saturday, Sept. 6th., from
7 to 10 pm. The artists will be on hand to greet
you and answer questions concerning their latest artworks,
and new Print works will be made available for the first
time. The public will also have an opportunity to bid
on specific artworks in a silent auction. ARTINO member
Xavier Montes will perform traditional Mexican
songs on his Paraguayan Harp, and T.J. Bolero
will also be providing musical entertainment. Refreshments
and hors d'oeuvres will be provided.
The exhibition's CLOSING PARTY will be held
late afternoon at the Gallery on Saturday, Sept.
27th., from 3 to 6 pm. The artists
will be on hand to answer questions concerning their
artworks. The public will also have an opportunity to
win Prints in a special raffle. There will be a Jazz
band, spoken word, refreshments and hors d'oeuvres,
and other surprises to round out the afternoon. There
will also be a special Dance Performance dedicated to
the hundreds of women in Juarez Mexico who have
been murdered by unknown assailants.
(Creator of contemporary social realism and political
graphics). FRANK MARTINEZ (One of L.A.'s original
1970's muralists). LALO GARCIA (Designer of the
"Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe" for L.A.'s Cathedral
of Our Lady of the Angels). SERGIO HERNANDEZ
(Illustrator and cartoonist for the legendary late 60's
Chicano magazine, "Con Safos"). RICARDO ORTEGA
(Painter of Chicano iconography and indigenous spiritual
themes). XAVIER MONTES (Paints with acrylics,
musician, and founder of the De Colores Art Show in
Santa Paula). FELIX PEREZ (Painter of the urban
apocalypse and Chicano iconography).
Lankershim Art Gallery
5108 Lankershim Blvd., NoHo Arts District. North Hollywood,
||SIQUEIROS, HIS LIFE AND
WORK is an extraordinary book written by Philip Stein
(a.k.a. Estaño), a tremendously talented American
painter and muralist. He worked in Mexico with David
Alfaro Siquieros for ten years, helping Siquieros
to create some of his most famous mural works.
The Mexican Cultural Commission
has designated Stein's book as the definitive biography
on Siqueiros, and the manuscript is currently being
translated into Spanish for a limited edition run. Stein's
insightful looks at the history of the Mexican Muralist
movement, his experience of working directly with Siquieros,
and his first hand knowledge of melding art with social
action make for fascinating reading. I've always
been an admirer of Siquieros, and as a young adult his
works profoundly impacted me, becoming a guidepost in
my own career as a socially engaged artist. Over the
years I've studied the thoughts and actions of this
artistic genius, but my research has always been somewhat
like trying to put together a puzzle. Stein's book comes
as a welcome relief, providing clarity, historical context,
and great detail.
an artist who worked side by side with Siquieros, Stein
writes with enormous conviction on the importance of
the Mexican Muralist movement as the first wave of a
new revolutionary art. Through his book he traces the
political and aesthetic battlefields from which Siquieros
emerged, naturally keeping the focus on this giant in
Mexican art... but never straying to far from the fact
that Siquieros was part of a historical process, the
result of material forces, and a figure in a larger
Stein's book includes 72 pages of color and black
and white photos. There are wonderful photos of Siqueiros
at work on various murals and easel paintings, but of
particular interest are the plates showing rare artworks
hitherto unknown to me. His stunning Struggle for
Emancipation is one such work, a painting depicting
a sea of humanity dressed in white and rushing at a
wall of faceless and gray security forces. The moving
King Cuauhtemoc shows the last Aztec monarch
naked and tortured, but defiant and clutching a bundle
of arrows. One would think the most unlikely artist
in the world to have a painting hung in the Vatican
Museum would be Siqueiros, yet that's exactly
where his equally unlikely portrait, Christ,
pleased to announce that by special arrangement with
Stein's publisher, INT'L Publishers Co., this important
illustrated biography on Siqueiros will be available
at ARTINO's upcoming El Grito - ¡Liberacion del
Espiritu! exhibition. For those unable to
attend the exhibit, you can also purchase Stein's book directly from
my Art For A Change website.
to paint marvelous works based on contemporary realities,
and anyone even remotely interested in the subjects
of painting, social realism, and the intersection of
art and politics should make themselves familiar with
his artworks. The artist
maintains a large website where you can view his powerful
||A PEOPLE UNDER COMMAND
is the title of a large painting
I created in 1985 during the second half of the Reagan
era. The unstretched canvas was painted before the invasion
of Panama, the first Gulf War, the rise of the militia
movement, or the war against Yugoslavia. My painting was
meant as a warning against empire and the militarization
of American culture.
The German magazine Zivil
recently contacted me about printing an illustrated
review of my Painting in their publication. The Federal
Government of Germany allows conscientious objectors
in the armed forces to do civil service rather than
military tasks, and since 1986 over 5,000 active duty
German soldiers have carried out nonmilitary service.
Presently Germany has around 1,100 conscientious objectors
doing social service duties overseas. Called Zivis,
these pacifist minded individuals do a tour of duty
that lasts two months longer than ordinary soldiers.
Zivil magazine has a readership
of over 120,000 people, and while it's targeted at the
conscientious objectors within Germany's armed forces
and those who work with them, Zivil brings an eclectic
mix of current events, art and culture, sports, and
fashion to a much wider audience.
My painting has been published
in the latest edition of Zivil, where it was called
"an outstanding example of political Art" and a "surrealistic
street scene" that offers "a prophetic vision for the
era of George W. Bush." You can see my painting by going
to the Zivil website, once there... click on "Galerie"
at the bottom of the lefthand column.
WORKMEN'S CIRCLE/ ARBETER RING of Los Angeles
has released an Artist's Call for their third juried
exhibit to be held at their A Shenere Velt Gallery.
Artists are being asked to submit artworks that address
the subject of war, for an exhibition titled War
Stories. You must submit an application before Sept.
8th, 2003. The actual exhibit will be held from Nov.
9th to Jan. 1st, 2004. To receive a prospectus on the
show that details requirements for submission, send
a self-addressed stamped business envelope to: A
Shenere Velt Gallery, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90035-4231. You
can also get all the details for submitting works directly
off The Workmen's Circle website, at:
Vallen's ART FOR A CHANGE website serves as a resource center
for Art Activism. It encourages and promotes the creation
of artworks that envision a just, peaceful world. Please inform
others of this site, and forward this notice to all appropriate
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"The defining function of the Artist is to cherish
~ Max Eastman.