Oil painting by Mark Vallen


"La Causa" (The Cause)
Mark Vallen 2011
Oil on canvas
40" x 36" inche

Purchase this painting on Saatchi Art.

Artist's statement:

"This is one of two paintings I created especially for ¡ADELANTE!, an exhibit of Chicano art at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, California. La Causa is a portrait of militants from the Brown Beret organization, a Chicano group that gained notoriety in the late 1960s for struggling to advance the civil and human rights of Mexican-Americans.

The Chicano Moratorium march againt the Vietnam War took place in East Los Angeles on August 29, 1970, and was partly organized by the Brown Berets. The group originally organized in East L.A. in 1967 as an outgrowth of the burgeoning Chicano civil rights movement. In 1968 the group organized the first student walkouts to protest racism and substandard schools in East L.A., electrifying an entire generation. Soon Brown Beret chapters sprang up throughout California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and beyond - but it all started in the city of Los Angeles.

Some 30,000 people took part in the 1970 moratorium march, which culminated in a rally at Laguna Park; dozens of Brown Berets acted as marshals, providing security for the protest. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department attacked the gathering, initiating a riot. Ultimately police killed four citizens that day, Lyn Ward, José Diaz (both Brown Berets), Gustav Montag, and L.A. Times reporter Rubén Salazar. Salazar was slain as he sat in the Silver Dollar Café; a deputy sheriff fired a tear gas projectile into the cafe, striking Salazar in the head and killing him instantly."

Click here to read Vallen's full statement regarding his painting.

¡ADELANTE! ran at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, California from Sept. 9, 2011 through Jan. 1, 2012. Those influential artists who participated in the exhibit included the likes of Judith F. Baca; David Rivas Botello; Barbara Carrasco; Margaret García; Ignacio Gomez; Wayne Healy; Leo Limón; Frank Romero; Patssi Valdez, and a host of others.


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