Wishes and Dreams! Beauty is in the Street!

 "¡La belleza esta en la calle!" (Beauty is in the Street!) Mark Vallen 2015. Oil on linen, mounted on masonite. 14" x 16" inches.

"¡La belleza esta en la calle!" (Beauty is in the Street!) Mark Vallen 2015. Oil on linen, mounted on masonite. 14" x 16" inches.

My most recent oil painting, ¡La belleza esta en la calle! (Beauty is in the Street!), will be premiered at the Wishes and Dreams exhibition at Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park, Los Angeles California. Curated by esteemed L.A. painter Raoul De la Sota, the group show features the works of sixteen artists who present in their artworks “the hopes, aspirations, dreams, memories, and wishes the participants have for themselves or for the world.”

And what is my wish, my dream? It is that we all end our conformist, hyper-consumerist, pessimistic, work-a-day-world apocalyptic thinking, to become idealists, artists, and utopians. In short, the same dream I have always embraced. As an oil painting ¡La belleza esta en la calle! (Beauty is in the Street!) echoes my philosophy that a better world is possible only when the multitudes begin to imagine it, and then fill the avenues to create it.

The title of my oil painting came from a street poster produced in 1968 Paris by an anonymous member of the worker and student run art cooperative known as the Atelier Populare (Popular Workshop). But I do not live in Paris, France and it is not 1968; I am a painter living in the megalopolis of Los Angeles, California during the dawn of the 3rd Millennium.

Because L.A. County today has the largest Latino population of any county in the United States (some 49%), I chose a young iconoclastic Latina as a symbol for the free spirits that will take to the streets to change the world. The painting has its title in Spanish for the same reason.

Wishes and Dreams opens on Saturday, December 12, 2015, with an artist’s reception from 7 pm to 10 pm. The exhibit will run through February 7, 2016. Avenue 50 Studio is located at 131 North Avenue 50, in Highland Park, CA 90042 (map).

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