ARTISTS II : MISSING (MIA) & REST IN PEACE (RIP)
Mariana Valles, Latina, Fiery, Devout, LGBT Firebrand, Artistically, Literarily, Biblically, and RECOVERY studied, including the ups and downs, fires and ice storms (ignored by society), all such entailed. Mariana lived both on the streets of Skid Row, doing the hardest and most dangerous of ancient professions thereupon along with creating her art, and also in the tiny SRO "hotels" or residential buildings of Skid Row. She worked in oil paint and acrylic, abstraction and realism, sophisticated handling techniques, and raw primitivistic assaults of pigment upon canvas, splaying her emotion and heart upon the substrates of her work. She passed away on the oft rough streets and environs of Skid Row in 2020 and we shall miss her and love her forever.
Vytautas Pliura (1951—2011)
Poet and Painter, author of "Tenderness in Hell" and dedicated artist-member-friend and late poet laureate of the art project.
There is a perfect irony and contrast in Vyautas' writerly manner, painterly manner, and personhood/personality. It might be summarized as the seemingly contradictory, but simply coexisting, parallel truths of whimsy, gentleness, childlikeness, and then acute intelligence, a writerly manner that at times will scorch the paint off the walls in its intensity or outrage, expressed pain and longing, and righteous anger. All is clothed and made palatable in the beauty, deftness, and also humor of its wording.
On this site is the prose poem/image moment of "Stuck in a Straight Bar...." from his book, "Tenderness in Hell", and which piece of writing epitomizes these coexisting realities.
See you down the road beloved genius-man Vytautas Pliura.
Charles Bivians (R.I.P.)
Controversial, brutally honest in word and oil paint, Charles Bivians was a provocative painterly inspiration and associate of the art project.
Charles' painterly manner and themes arose from a tremendous spectrum of abilities and sensitivities and areas of personal, as well as academic, study. Strong ideals of individuality, integrity of life, and his own very Existentialist philosophy and praxis of existence are all overtly manifested in the stylistic handlings and subject matter of Charles' paintings.
Stolen from us too soon.
More biographical data coming.
Benjamin Erickson (Kítte) M.I.A./Missing
Benjamin Erickson is one of the most brilliant artists to have ever entered the art project, beginning after years of homelessness and landing in the PATH homeless shelter when he began with us. After massive artistic output, he heartrendingly homeless again, then Housing and a Section 8 Housing Subsidy was attainted for Benjamin. However, Benjamin stated he was fearing for his life in the difficult sector of Los Angeles where his housing was attained, and went missing in 2018. A Conservatorship is being set up in his absence. Please click on the words below to access his page of genius and art.