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Art of Marine veteran who paints as therapy on exhibit in Lincoln Heights

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The artwork of Roberto Gutierrez, who served in the Marines during the Vietnam War, is being exhibited at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights. (KABC)

Artist Roberto Gutierrez says color is in his DNA.

He expresses that in his paintings, after having lived through the darkness of war.

"It's my soother for PTSD. Still going through that," said Gutierrez. "Never will get rid of it but it's better."

For more than 40 years, Gutierrez has been painting away the pain of the Vietnam War.

The U.S. Marine veteran is among just a few members of his platoon who made it home alive.

Today, Gutierrez is a distinguished artist known for painting Los Angeles landscapes.

His current exhibit at Plaza de la Raza also celebrates landscapes from New York and Paris.

"I got the bug for Paris when I started to be a young art student at East L.A. Junior College and I wanted to see those places Monet was at, and Manet, and then Picasso and Degas and all these guys."

College is where he discovered art, and he's been painting ever since. It is, in some ways, medicine for his post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I continue to seek help," said Gutierrez. "I've tried the kitchen sink. I've tried hypnosis. I've tried traditional therapy. I've tried Qigong. I've tried Tai Chi. Whatever works!"

Gabriel Jimenez, the curator at Plaza de la Raza, is especially fond of what this artist represents.

"Resilience, person of color, instructor, teacher, mentor, history buff," said Jimenez. "Chicano from this area showcasing the beauty of Los Angeles."

This colorful exhibition runs through Feb. 16 at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights.

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