TO MAIN ART GALLERY
Mark Vallen 2004
Oil on masonite panel 9" x 12" inches
cacti growing in my Los Angeles neighborhood are overlooked
by most people caught up in the urban struggle for
survival - yet the humble cactus has grown throughout
the region since time immemorial. The sturdy plant
is specific to my native soil, and for millennia it
has thrived in this arid desert land. It endures the
harshest conditions, persevering with little water
beneath the scorching sun. It is the ultimate survivor.
most of L.A. has been covered with concrete and asphalt,
cactus persist in the middle of our urban blight,
providing a stoic beauty all their own. My interest
in the cactus as a symbol for surviving a bleak and
discordant present, goes along with celebrating the
nonfigurative qualities of a subject carefully observed.
Close up observation of the plant reveals forms approaching
pure abstraction; allowing me to paint "abstracts"
that are actually works of hyper-realism."