Exposition Art Blog: Carlos Almaraz

Carlos Almaraz

Carlos Almaraz (October 5, 1941 – December 11, 1989) was a Mexican-American artist and an early proponent of the Chicano street arts movement.
"Almaraz was born in 1941 in Mexico City, but his parents quickly moved … first to Chicago, then to East LA in 1950. His experience of these widely differing environments probably inflected his vision of the world. He attended Garfield High, went on to CalState LA, Loyola, and Otis; tried to make it in the New York art scene for five years; then returned to LA in 1970. In between New York and East Los was a brief visit to Mexico to learn about its art, to explore what he increasingly saw as his Chicano heritage. ..His technique ranges from the literally figurative to almost abstract blurs and splatters, sometimes all in the same painting. There is a sense of layered meaning, and an immensely singular use of color, but his figures are usually representative and even sensual.His new fascination appeared to be with ideas based on world myths, transplanted into his own personal LA, whose nocturnal Echo Park flaunted purple lagoons with peaked bridges and small craft like paper boats, whose bright lit skyscrapers sway in a giant, concrete cumbia …
Where prim little Eastside bungalows can offer the solace of home and hearth or can just as easily burst into fiery explosion … Where terrifying car crashes offer all the colors of a garden in springtime… Where stag-headed buck-dancers flit through twilight landscapes of drifting symbols…
Where sinister magicians hold forth on mystic stages… All in a gathering darkness that seems increasingly to enfold his work until his tragic death by AIDS in 1989..."(.scpr.org )

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