Richard Duardo

Richard Duardo (1952–2014) was a master art printer and a co-founder of Centro de Arte Público, along with Guillermo Bejarano and Carlos Almaraz. He first met Almaraz at Self Help Graphics in Boyle Heights. This account is excerpted from a 2007 interview with Karen Mary Davalos (CSRC Oral Histories Series, no. 9. Los Angeles: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press, 2013).

[In 1979 Almaraz made the decision to leave his work as a cultural artist and activist to work full-time as a studio artist.] He took a studio apartment in Echo Park, above the little lake, and started to do a series, so he was working more and more at home, obviously, during all the Echo Park pieces.…A private dealer [who] took an interest in the work… introduced Carlos to Jan Turner, and Jan Turner committed to pick him up and giving him a show. And that was the beginning of Carlos’s trajectory as a successful painter that crossed over to the Westside. He crossed over and found an audience. …I was pretty devastated [by Almaraz’s shift]. I mean, my whole world as I believed myself to be a participant in this whole collective thinking, cultural workers, just completely collapsed. So in that vacuum, I got into a very self-destructive, nihilistic twist in my life. But it was also that year of the dissolution of the [group], the fragmentation of the group, it was happening. I wanted to get my skill set up to a better level as a printmaker.


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