Newsletter © July update '04
& Social Change
A R T F O R
A C H A N G E
1) - MORE THAN A WITNESS... Mark Vallen's retrospective exhibit
runs through August 26th, 2004
2) - WHAT'S GOING ON?... Vietnam War exhibit mounted by The Oakland
Museum of California
3) - SID VICIOUS BACK FROM THE DEAD... Gallery displays punk rock
4) - OILY PORTRAITS... The National Portrait Gallery of London
and Big Oil
5) - LEGACY AND LEGEND... Siqueiros and America Tropical - Censorship
6) - FRIDA KAHLO... The 50th anniversary of her passing
7) - CALL FOR ART... Shows to enter!
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American" Oil painting by Mark Vallen
MORE THAN A WITNESS
Now through August 26th, 2004
A Shenere Velt
Hiroshima Day Slide Lecture
by Mark Vallen. Fri. Aug. 6th, 8 pm.
Vallen will present a Hiroshima Day
slide lecture on the subject of art and its intersection with
political and social issues. Vallen will address matters pertaining
to art in times of war, censorship, and the function of the artist
as both social historian and leading light in the development
of social progress (program is free).
Vallen has become an accomplished Social Realist for the early
21st century. He honors his predecessors by focusing on the pressing
issues of our own perilous times. Proud to embrace the same label,
he does in the late 20th and early 21st centuries what generations
of political artists accomplished
during their own turbulent time".
- Paul Von Blum, author of The Critical Vision.
LA artist Mark Vallen establishes himself as one of the most profound
political artists of our time."
- LA.com review
art that reaches both the heart and mind and has something relevant
to say about the city we inhabit, this exhibit is a must see."
- LA Alternative Press
The A Shenere Velt Gallery in Los Angeles
1525 S Robertson Blvd, Los
Angeles, CA 90035.
Telephone: (310) 552-2007
Vietnam war exhibition mounted by
The Oakland Museum of California
As the ghosts of the Vietnam war continue to haunt the world,
The Oakland Museum of California
presents a timely and comprehensive exhibit entitled, What's
Going On? California and the Vietnam Era. The huge
7000 square foot exhibit contains more than 500 historical artifacts,
including photos, posters, artworks, film clips, music, and oral
histories from war veterans and refugees. In
the words of the museum, the show explores, "Cold
War politics and California's economy; social activism from the
Right and the Left; the rise of the feminist, African American,
Chicano, and veterans' movements; Vietnamese refugees; media images
of the war; and the legacy of those years on the entire nation."
University of California Press has released a 220 page companion
book for the exhibit containing
127 black and white photographs.
Art For A Change by purchasing the book!
California artist, Sergio
Hernandez, spoke of his participation in the
anti-Vietnam war Chicano Moratorium protests and how he came to
be included in the Oakland exhibit: "I
painted a portrait (4' x 6') of slain LA Times reporter Ruben
Salazar for the Sept.16th, 1970 parade that the Con Safos magazine
group carried in protest of his murder. This portrait got away
from us and it became the focal point of the march and the subsequent
riot... but it survived. I was recently contacted by the Oakland
Museum of California and asked if they could borrow it for their
Vietnam show, which has a section on the Chicano Moratorium and
historic exhibit runs from August 28,
2004 to February
27, 2005. The Oakland
Museum of California is located at 1000
Oak Street, Oakland CA 94607.
Phone: 510-238-2200. Web:
of Sid Vicious by Vallen
VICIOUS BACK FROM THE DEAD
Gallery displays punk rock memorabilia
from the late 70's UK punk explosion are about to go on display
as art in a London gallery.
The materials to be displayed are part of a major collection documenting
the heady days when punk launched a revolution in clothing, art,
and music. Much of the exhibit focuses specifically upon the personal
possessions of Sid Vicious,
the doomed bass player for the infamous Sex
London gallery, The
Hospital, brainchild of musician Dave
Stewart (of Eurythmics fame), and Paul
G. Allen (co-founder of Microsoft), will host the exhibition.
Andrew Wilson, deputy editor of Art Monthly and Paul Stolper,
a contemporary art dealer... labored for 15 years on building
a collection of original clothes, handwritten lyrics, posters,
and flyers belonging to Vicious. Aside from those items, the exhibit
will also feature clothes that had been designed by Vivienne
Westwood and sold at the Kings Road punk shop called
run by Pistols manager Malcolm
exhibit at The Hospital will run from September 24th, to January
The National Portrait Gallery
of London and Big Oil
past June, artists and activists in London protested in front
of the National
Portrait Gallery to condemn British
Petroleum (BP) being the sponsor behind this years
National Portrait Awards.
in front of the London
National Portrait Gallery
July 21st, as the invitation only crowd of elite art lovers arrived
at the National Portrait Gallery for the awards ceremony, they
found the gallery had become the target of a demonstration. Four
art activists eluded security and effectively blocked the entrance
of the gallery by chaining themselves to the doors. The British
minister for culture, Chris Smith,
unceremoniously climbed over the human chain and squeezed through
the door... but the remaining wealthy and influential guests were
eventually forced to use a side entrance to the gallery. Protesters
unfurled banners and gave out leaflets that exposed BP for environmental
crimes and profiteering from the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
"It's time to strip away the greenwash;
in fact it's time to save the whole planet from these robber barons
with their bloody oil wars, climate chaos and massive pay hikes.
We know there are better worlds out there, and they don't include
profit or fossil fuels (or an art market, for that matter)."
protest was the culmination of a week of activity organized by
London Rising Tide and Burning
Planet. The events included a parade of "true portraits
of an oil company" consisting of political artworks held
aloft in a march from BP headquarters to the National Portrait
Gallery just off Trafalgar Square. Art activists also leafleted
a BP sponsored production of Faust
at the Royal Opera House.
poster for the
Legacy & Legend project ©
Siqueiros and America Tropical
In 1932, El
Maestro David Alfaro Siqueiros
painted America Tropical at Olvera Street, the birthplace of Los
Angeles. This work was the first grand scale outdoor public mural
in the United States, launching what is now a significant universal
art form. While this historic artwork opened to great artistic
and critical acclaim, it was soon whitewashed because of its political
content, setting off a debate over art, ideology and censorship
that would reverberate for more than half a century.
the first time, a major exhibition will honor Siqueiros and his
lasting influence on the aesthetics and cultural life of Los Angeles,
known today as the "Mural Capital of the World." Legacy
& Legend: Siqueiros and America Tropical - Censorship Defied
will broaden awareness of this renowned Mexican artist, his contributions
to the art world, and his only remaining outdoor public mural
in this century. You can help make it happen. To learn more, visit:
The 50th anniversary of her passing
past July 13th marked the
50th anniversary of the death of the Mexican painter, Frida
Kahlo. With the artist now the victim of crass commercialization,
it should be remembered that Kahlo was a social activist and communist
until the end of her life. Kahlo had no formal art training, but
she eventually managed to become skilled enough to gain the attention
of Soviet filmmaker Sergei
Eisenstein, the founder of Surrealism, André
Breton, and of course the man
she would marry, Diego
portrait by Frida Kahlo
Modotti, a fiery Italian-born American marxist
photographer who introduced Kahlo to a circle of leftist artists
and intellectuals. Kahlo met Rivera in this group and joined the
organization he had founded, the Young Communist League. The highest
price Kahlo ever received for one of her paintings during her
lifetime was $300. She had a single exhibition in her native Mexico,
which came during the last year of her life. Kahlo's final public
political action was to protest the US backed coup against the
democratically elected government of Guatemala. The rebellious
artist died seven days later on July 13, 1954, at the age of 47.
year the 50th anniversary of her death is being commemorated in
Mexico with many cultural events. The newly restored Casa
Azul (Kahlo's childhood home and now The
Frida Kahlo Museum), inaugurated a comprehensive exhibit
of 46 oil paintings by the artist this past May. The Palacio
Bellas Artes in Mexico City is also mounting a major
exhibit of Kahlo's artworks that will open on July 28, 2004.
FOR ART - SHOWS TO ENTER!
AWARENESS: an evening of audio/visual activism to be
held August 28, 2004
at Inshallah Gallery, 244 South Main
Street in Downtown Los Angeles benefiting the Adbusters
Media Foundation and the Moveon.org
Political Action Committee. We are seeking expressions of political
awareness in whatever medium you choose to work for this collaborative
one night show. Space and time will be made available to showcase
as many audio, visual, performance, and conceptual artists as
possible; provided such work presents some form of reflection,
commentary, or action against electoral apathy and political disenfranchisement.
interested in participating as an artist, please contact Wesley
Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org
with a brief bio, artist statement, jpeg images (no larger than
2mb) if a visual work, description of work you wish to perform
if a performance piece or mail a demo CD if interested in musical
performance, or spoken word to 411 S.
Main #618 LA CA 90013 attn: Situational Awareness.
All submissions must be received no
later than July 31, 2004. Artists will be notified
no later than August 6 with further details. If interested in
participating as an assistant curator, general volunteer, benefactor,
or attendee and you would like more information please contact
the above e-mail address.
THIS! is an exhibit being planned by SPARC
Gallery in Venice California. Mounted to coincide with
the national elections, the aim of the show is to "celebrate
freedom of expression, provide creative commentary, reveal the
unseen, and to tell the truth." The exhibit and benefit
auction will open September 11th, 2004, and run until election
night, Tuesday, November 2nd. Deadline
for submissions: August 15, 2004. For complete guidelines
on submitting art, visit:
|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
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"Radicalism: noun. The
conservatism of tomorrow injected into the affairs of today."
author & satirist, Ambrose Bierce