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Oil painting by Mark Vallen  Oil painting by Mark Vallen
Oil painting by Mark Vallen  Oil painting by Mark Vallen

Cactus II
Mark Vallen 2004
Oil on masonite panel 9" x 12"

Here's 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.

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 revealed forms approaching pure abstraction, allowing me to paint an 'abstract' that is actually a work of hyper-realism."

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