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Carlos Almaraz and Elsa Flores papers, 1946-1996

Biographical Note

Carlos Almaraz (1941-1989) was a painter and muralist in Los Angeles, California. His wife Elsa Flores (1955- ) is also a painter and muralist. Almaraz and Flores collaborated on the mural California Dreamscape as part of the Chicano street arts movement.
Almaraz was born in Mexico City, moving to Chicago in 1942, and settling in Los Angeles in 1949. He studied at California State College, the Otis Art Institute, and the University of California in Los Angeles. He moved to New York City in 1965, where he studied at the Art Students League and New School of Social Research. In 1970, Almaraz returned to Los Angeles. He became active with mural painting within the Mexican American community in Los Angeles. Along with Gilbert Lujan, Beto de la Rocha, and Frank Romero, Almaraz founded the artist collective Los Four.
Elsa Flores was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her mother was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, and her father was of Arab descent, born in Chile after his paretns fled the Middle East. Elsa studied at the Art Center College, California State University, and the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. Almaraz and Flores married in 1981 and their daughter Maya was born in 1983. They collaborated on California Dreamscape, a mural commissioned by the California Arts Council and is located in the Reagan State Building in Los Angeles. In the late 1980s, Almaraz was diagnosed with AIDS and died in 1989.