[Mark Vallen, Los Angeles artist, has maintained a site and written and painted work connected with the revolutionary transformation of society. His most recent article reports on and responds to the long hidden “America Tropical,” a mural commissioned by Los Angeles political leaders, dedicated in 1932, and, within months of its dedication, whitewashed by those same leaders. This censored treasure has been the object of a conservation and restoration movement since it was rediscovered by the Chicano movement of the 1960’s. It appears that finally the efforts will come to fruition, and Vallen discusses the importance of its restoration and the attendant irony as well. Visit his site to see all the graphics and to read some of his other writing. — Lew Rosenbaum]
The Mexican Muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros completed his second Los Angeles mural, América Tropical, in 1932. Created on the rooftop of the Italian Hall building located on the city’s historic Olvera Street, the mural was formally presented to the public in an official unveiling that took place on the evening of October 9, 1932. Within six months the portion of the mural visible from the street was whitewashed by conservative city authorities because of the artwork’s political message – a searing attack on U.S. imperialism. Inside of a year the authorities obliterated the entire mural with whitewash. América Tropical has remained hidden from public view for the last 77 years – but that is about to change.
By invitation I attended the March 31, 2010, event at the Los Angeles Central Library’s Taper Auditorium, heralding the progress of the future David Alfaro Siqueiros América Tropical Mural And Interpretive Center. Sponsored by Amigos de Siqueiros . . .[ read more here]