John Valadez 

Valadez, a realist painter and muralist, met the members of Los Four through Gilbert Luján. He later cofounded Centro de Arte Público. The following is an excerpt taken from a written remembrance of Almaraz.

Carlos allowed me to see clearly that I was an individual with instinctive clarity and I should own it, risk taking, singular vision, intuition, a la brava, fuck the Devils!

Carlos could talk and, more importantly, listen as if he could hear you and challenge you with questions or demur when necessary. He would piss me off constantly with conversation and he loved it. He had a smile just this side of smug arrogance smothered with respect and humor that belied his intelligence. He was always reading, [about] sexual psychosis, Buddhism, learning French, whatever. He had stories of his travels to Cuba then traveling to China.

We saw a lot of art and films together with [Richard] Duardo, Barbara Carrasco, and anyone else who had a car or gas money. We pulled together all of our resources, art jobs, ideas, and learning skills together. He was the oldest and we all listened and thrived. I always enjoyed watching him work with paint or pastel. I have always felt fortunate to be a close friend of his for about four years, and we all miss him to this day.


Return to Other Voices: Reflections on Almaraz's Legacy  

Return to Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz