For a Tuesday, there’s plenty of culture happening at the arts school at CSULB today. It’s the campus Dia de los Muertxs party, and the stellar exhibition of contemporary printmakers from El Nopal Press, B.A.T. State III is still on view in the Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum. And in a perfect mix of the two, tonight the campus theater also screens the new documentary film on heralded L.A. painter Carlos Almaraz.

Playing with Fire is a treasure trove of archival footage of Almaraz during his tragically short life, and interviews with art world figures and beloved friends and colleagues done after his untimely death and more recently, on the occasion of his massive LACMA survey. From a gloriously bohemian youth in NYC to foundational work as a pillar of Chicano style in important contemporary art, and dedicated family man, Almaraz’s life is as colorful, explosive, and full of surprises as his seminal art.

CSULB University Theater, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach; Tue., Nov. 5, 5 p.m.; free.


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