Mark Vallen 2004
Oil on masonite panel 9" x 12"
what the artist said about this painting:
"The 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. While
most of LA has been covered with concrete and asphalt, cactus
persist in the middle of our urban blight, providing a stoic beauty
all their own.
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
revealed forms approaching pure abstraction, allowing me to paint
an 'abstract' that is actually a work of hyper-realism."