Mark Vallen's Newsletter © August '04
Art Activism & Social Change
Artworks by Mark Vallen
A R T  F O R   A  C H A N G E


1) - MORE THAN A WITNESS... Hiroshima Day slide lecture by Mark Vallen
2) - IN AMERICA NOW... Political and social issues explored in Hollywood group show
3) - JEROME WITKIN: SITE AND INSIGHT... Narrative painting from a master of realism
4) - EZLN: IMAGES OF A MOVEMENT... Zapatista photographs at Self Help Graphics

To be placed on this newsletter's mailing list, or to receive a text only version,
send a request to:


Slideshow artworks clockwise: Felix Nussbaum's 1940 "Self-portrait with Jewish Pass"; Vallen's 1982 "There Goes My Career!"; Gert Wollheim's 1919 "The Wounded Man"; Atom Bomb survivor Takakura Nobuko's vision of a civilian melting in atomic fire; Vallen's 2001 "I Am Not The Enemy";
Vallen's 2003 "Not Our Children, Not Their Children".

A Shenere Velt Gallery - Workmen's Circle
Now through Aug. 26th, 2004

Hiroshima Day Slide Lecture Fri. Aug. 6th, 8 pm.

As part of the continuing "More than a witness" exhibit, Vallen will appear at the
A Shenere Velt Gallery on Hiroshima Day to present a free slide show and lecture on art in times of war and censorship.
Vallen's slide show is an exciting survey that illustrates how visual artists have expressed their opposition to war, from World War I to the current occupation of Iraq.

Offering artworks from successful as well as obscure artists, the arresting images presented by Vallen chronicle an unequivocal condemnation of modern warfare. The slide show includes several eye-opening categories: among them, anti-militarist works by artists living in Germany during the rise of fascism; depictions of the reality of war as documented in paintings created by Japanese Atom Bomb survivors; the reaction of American artists to the Vietnam war; pacifist imagery from the cold war of the 1980's (including some breathtaking punk rock graphics); and contemporary artworks against the conflagration in the Middle East.

Vallen's slide show also investigates the militarization of popular culture, from movies to the world of advertising. The slide show documents recent examples of art censorship. Those instances include: the censorship of Picasso's Guernica mural in the UN just prior to the invasion of Iraq; the physical assaults and death threats against a San Francisco gallery owner for exhibiting an antiwar painting; and the FBI arrests of Art Professor Steve Kurtz and his conceptual Critical Art Ensemble on charges of bio-terrorism. Come early and view Vallen's paintings and drawings.

Internationally acclaimed writer, Luis J. Rodriguez, will present a reading of poetry to salute the conclusion of the exhibition, "Mark Vallen: More Than A Witness". The award winning Chicano author will read selected works from his impressive repertoire, as well as talk about the importance of culture in building movements for social change. Rodriguez will also recite the verse of famed poet Pablo Neruda to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the great Chilean writer's birth.

For additional informatioin on Luis J. Rodriquez:

A Shenere Velt Gallery
Eric A. Gordon, PhD - Director, Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring
Southern California District

1525 South Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035.
(310) 552-2007 phone
(310) 552-3417 fax


(national WC/AR) :

Election year issues explored in West Hollywood group show

The Don O'Melveny Gallery in West Hollywood California will present an exhibition that examines the divided American political landscape. In America Now, juried by art critic Peter Frank, focuses on how politically and socially split the US has become in the last few years. Timed to open between the Democratic and Republican conventions, the exhibit promises to deliver some much needed dialog on the questions of war, terrorism, and civil liberties. Artists in the show include, Anne Deon, Mercedes Helwein, Christopher Weeks, Brian Yates, and Ulla Barr.

The Artist's Reception will be held on Saturday, August 7th, 6 - 9 pm. The exhibit runs until August 12th, 2004. The Don O'Melveny Gallery is located at 9009 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Phone: (310) 273-7868.

Painting by Jerome Witkin
Painting by Jerome Witkin

Narrative painting from a master of realism

Artist Jerome Witkin carries a double edged sword. He is an unabashed champion of figurative realism and the sheer power of painting... plus, he is unafraid to handle political themes in his work. One of the great narrative painters of our time, Witkin has drawn our attention to assassinations, torture, and the AIDS crisis in his canvasses large and small. He is best known for his paintings dealing with the Holocaust... a series of surreal, blunt, and shocking paintings designed to overwhelm the audience with the historical reality.

A major exhibition of Witkin's prints, drawings, and paintings are now on display at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Gallery in West Los Angeles. Especially noteworthy is the monumental 36 foot painting, Entering Darkness, Witkin's 2001 tour-de-force examination of the 1945 liberation of the Dachau Nazi death camp. This particular canvas is the culmination of the artist's 23 year long series of artworks focusing on the attempted fascist genocide of the Jewish people. However, Witkin is not simply a polemicist. His portraits, intimate figure studies, and somber urban landscapes offer a gentler look at the world, but one no less rooted in contemporary reality.

"Site and Insight" runs until August 31st, 2004. The Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Gallery is located at 357 N. La Brea Ave. Open Tuesday through Friday 10 - 6 pm and Saturday 10 - 5 pm. View Witkin's paintings at the Jack Rutberg website.

EZLN - Images of a Movement
Zapatista photographs at Self Help Graphics

Paula Ramírez and Raymundo Reynoso are photographers who have documented the rise of Mexico's contemporary Zapatista movement and the impact it has had on Mexican society. Through a collection of over 50 photos, black and white as well as color, the daily life of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas is illustrated, along with their support activities extended to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).

This important exhibit of photographs has its Opening Reception on Saturday August 7th at 7 pm. Self Help will be presenting a range of activities and events in conjunction with the photo exhibit, from a screening of Zapatista video documentaries on Aug. 12th, to an evening of poetry and music on Aug. 14th. There will also be a special Aug. 27th discussion with photographer Raymundo Reynoso on the subject of The Art and Aesthetics of Zapatismo. Paintings, prints, and other artworks with Zapatismo themes will also be available at Self Help's, Galeria Otra Vez. Self Help Graphics & Art is located at 3802 Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90063. Phone: (323) 881-6444. E-mail:
For a full listing of scheduled of events, visit the Self Help website.


"Mars" Painting by Estaño
"Mars" Painting by Estaño

Art For A Change to build website for
Philip Stein (aka Estaño)

Art For A Change has just agreed to create a website for master artist, Philip Stein, also known as Estaño. A living link to one of the world's most influential artistic schools, the Mexican Muralist Movement, Estaño painted alongside David Alfaro Siqueiros for ten years. It is indeed an honor to have Estaño as a client. If you know of an artist in need of a well designed website, contact
Art For A Change

Mark 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 lists and individuals. If you wish to be added or removed from the AFC mailing list, or if you'd rather receive a text only version of this mailing... send an e-mail request to
"It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare to say things that no one else will say"
US historian, Howard Zinn