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Man on Fire
Mark Vallen 2006
Oil on wood panel
11 3/4" x 23 3/4"
Private collection

Here's what the artist
said about his painting:

"As a teenager I saw a reproduction of the mural, Man of Fire, created in 1938 by the Mexican Muralist, José Clemente Orozco. The artist had painted a gigantic blazing man in the cupola of the Hospicio Cabañas, in Guadalajara. It was an image that had a profound and lasting effect upon me, but little did I know many years later I would be painting my own apocalyptic vision of a man on fire.

In 1987, during a mass demonstration in Los Angeles opposing the visit of the president of Iran to the UN, as well as voicing disapproval of the Iran-Iraq war, the 31 year old Iranian writer and antiwar activist Neusha Farrahi committed suicide by pouring gasoline over his body and self-immolating before a stunned crowd of thousands.

The heartbreaking event led me to immortalize Farrahi's martyrdom in my oil painting - Man on Fire."

Detail of Vallen's, Man On Fire
"My painting is both a metaphor for our times and an artwork based upon real world events. The blazing man could be said to represent suffering humanity engulfed by war and repression - alluding to the current catastrophes in the Middle East and elsewhere."
 
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