Alison Carrillo Remembers

El Chinaco

What I know about El Chinaco is what Ed told me.

Who is El Chinaco?  After the Chinese had finished working on the Central Pacific Railroad some of them, having had enough of Gringolandia, headed South to Mexico. Some of them became cowboys, and, take a look, pretty spectacular ones at that! Having adapted to the hardships of railroad work they already had the skills to deal with the rough physical life out of doors. So there you see a monumental horse beneath a monumental horseman with a decided Mexican aspect, and also a Chinese aspect, poised to be absorbed into multi-cultural Mexico. Ed saw connections, he was a uniter.

“What Good Thing Could I Do Here?”

Eduardo Carrillo: Los Bucaneros, oil on panel, 60 3/4” x 60 3/4”

In 1997 Gus Clark was an art student at UCSC and Ed Carrillo was his mentor. Observant, responsive, Gus was eager to pick up on whatever his professor suggested as a worthwhile path of inquiry.

I remember one day when he was visiting us here at home and we were out in the studio.
Ed walked over to a large (5’ x 5’) oil painting, “Los Bucaneros”, depicting Indigenes and Conquistadors on a Spanish Galleon loading cannon as the ship pitched from side to side in the waves.

“Gus,” he said. “I want you to take this and copy it, then give me your copy and you can keep the original.”

I gulped! I liked Gus too but “Los Bucaneros” was one of my favorites and I could not imagine it going away so casually, and not even a sale! By that time I was well acquainted with Ed’s talent for giving but this surprised me. Gus gulped too. Yikes! What a responsibility! A responsibility he readily accepted. He was up to the task!

Gus did it. He took it home to Eureka and worked on it for a couple years. Ed died in the meantime and never did see the completed copy. It’s close to perfect, pretty darn close. At least he had perfection to guide him.

Well, this was typical of Eduardo Carrillo. He did not monetize every sketch, painting or even masterpiece. He saw beyond price and his own advantage to ask himself, what good thing could I do here? Obviously, he thought that was to inspire his worthy student, Gus Clark.

Ed’s mentorship was laced with generosity. He would always go the distance. Ask Cruz Zamarron.

Restoring “Los Bucaneros”

So many people contribution to the success of bringing the art to life through restoration and vivid documentation. Click on the images to enlarge and learn about the masters involved in restoring and documenting Eduardo’s painting.