Daniel Brice is a Los Angeles-based painter and printmaker. Almaraz was a close friend and mentor to Brice in the 1980s.
Carlos and I share the same birthday, exactly twenty years apart. During a mutual birthday celebration the kitchen table became a place for reflection. I must have expressed some sort of youthful artistic doubt, and in his wizened way Carlos imparted this sneaky wisdom, “don’t sweat it—you won’t really come into yourself until you’re forty-five.” I think I was turning twenty-six at the time. I remember mulling over Carlos’ advice as the candles were blown out and almost every day in the three decades since then. I eventually came to understand Carlos’ truth as my own; an entreaty to allow the mind and hands to develop independently, joining forces only when ready.
Carlos also used to declare, “a broom is the artist’s second most important tool!” I realized over the years, while sweeping of course, that a broom is sometimes less for cleaning than for the offer of time spent thinking while sweeping. And often what I think about is Carlos and his ageless wisdom.