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"La Causa" (The Cause) Painting

Mark Vallen

United States

Painting, Oil on Canvas

Size: 36 W x 40 H x 2 D in

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About The Artwork

My painting, "La Causa" (The Cause), was one of two canvases I premiered at the exhibition, "¡ADELANTE! Mexican American Artists: 1960s and Beyond," which took place at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, California from September 9, 2011 through January 1, 2012. My oil paintings were created especially for the exhibition. The show was an exploration of the world of Chicano art, and included artworks from "veteranos" of the 1960s Chicano Arts Movement, as well as paintings, drawings, and prints from a whole new generation of artists involved in creating Chicanarte (Chicano art). My painting is the depiction of two female cadre of the Brown Berets, a left-leaning Chicano organization that began in Los Angeles but came to prominence throughout the American Southwest during the early 1970s; the group is still active today. I felt it important to portray these young Chicana activists as a counter-balance to the stereotypical images of Latinas. My canvas may very well be the first serious painting of the Brown Berets. The title of my canvas is taken from the words that appear on the emblematic patch worn on the berets of the organization's members, the "cause" being the liberation of the Chicano/Mexicano people. My canvas is not a wholesale endorsement of the Brown Berets, but rather an acknowledgement of the role the organization played in the history and collective consciousness of Mexican-Americans. The painting is journalistic in nature, and it captures a reality still found in certain layers of the Chicano community in the United States. "La Causa" (The Cause) does not require framing. The canvas is stretched over solid wood stretcher bars that are two inches in width; the outer edges of the canvas covered stretcher bars are painted mat black. When the painting is hung and viewed from the side, its black edges give a finished, professional look.

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Oil on Canvas

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:36 W x 40 H x 2 D in

Shipping & Returns

Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

I was born in Los Angeles, California in 1953, where I continue to live and work as professional artist. A painter and printmaker who creates images based on social observation and empathy for common people, I am a proponent of a new Social Realism for the 21st century. I favor craft, skill, beauty, draftsmanship, and profound narrative in art, and strive to create works that convey humanist concerns and a sense of the spiritual. I have been deeply influenced by the likes of Goya, the Mexican Muralists, the German Expressionists, the American Social Realist School of the 1930s and 1940s, and the Chicano Arts movement of the late 1960s. My commitment to figurative realism and universal themes of human solidarity and compassion are the perfect counterbalance to these chaotic times. In 2004 I founded the popular web log "Art for a Change," where I write about the intersection of art and politics; you can view my blog here:

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