Oral history interview with Elsa Flores, 1997 Feb. 18-Apr. 30
Sound recording: 11 sound cassettes (60 mins. each) : analog.
Transcript: 209 p.
An interview of Elsa Flores conducted 1997 Feb. 18-Apr. 30, by Jeffrey Rangel, for the Archives of American Art. The interviews took place in Flores' studio, in South Pasadena, Calif., over four sessions. Flores discusses her parents' diverse backgrounds and her difficult childhood and adolescence; the development of her political consciousness; her involvement with Chicanismo; her interests in art, photography, and music, including being a member of California State University, Los Angeles mariachi band; her art, which she considers more biographical and mystical than ethnic; her use, initially, of a dark palette to distinguish her work from that of her husband, Carlos Almaraz, and changing to a brighter, more optimistic palette after Almaraz's was diagnosed with AIDS. She recalls Almaraz's energy and genius; his struggles with AIDS and his search for alternative healing methods; finding solace in Kauai; and his request to have his ashes strewn around Kauai at his favorite places. Flores comments on the difficult period after Almaraz's death; her devotion to their daughter; keeping Almaraz's work at the forefront of public awareness; and her own art career.
Place of publication, production, or execution: California
Access Note / Rights: Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Citation: Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Elsa Flores, 1997 Feb. 18-Apr. 30. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding: The digital preservation of this interview received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Biography Note: Elsa Flores (1955-) is a painter from California. Married to painter Carlos Almaraz.
Provenance: This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and administrators. Funding for this interview provided by the Smithsonian Institution Latino Pool Fund.
Location Note: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
interviewee: Flores, Elsa, 1955-
interviewer: Rangel, Jeffrey J.
Subject: Almaraz, Carlos
Record number: (DSI-AAA_CollID)13559
Record number: (DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216421
Record number: AAA_collcode_flores97