Self-Portrait of a Muralist

Mural artist Judith Baca proclaims herself a "cultural attack dog" and says she "wants to be useful to the struggle for justice and to these kids who were in such despair" ("The Globe Is Her Canvas," by Agustin Gurza, Aug. 19). She even has the gall to lament the fact that she regrets having to still teach to support her passion for mural painting.

Yet she manages to live in a grandiose home on the Venice canal and drive a Mercedes SUV. Does she really think she can be simpatico with the people she claims to want to help, living the kind of lifestyle she does?

LAURIE TRAINOR

Los Angeles

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I can't believe Baca had the audacity to impose her vision on a Russian artist who knows his country's violent history better than she does. Where does she get off by suggesting that "dark" themes cannot inspire hope in the long run? Can you imagine if she had been advising Picasso on the Spanish Civil War? We never would have seen the violent and dark masterpiece that is "Guernica."

MANNY GONZALEZ

Beverly Hills

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