Attractive Nuisance

The Story of Eduardo Carrillo's Destroyed Mural - Birth, Death and Regeneration

By Museo Eduardo Carrillo

Birth, Death and Regeneration – South Wall (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Murals are considered the most vulnerable of art forms, subject to the elements and the necessities of “progress” and the whims of local judgment.

Eduardo Carrillo’s mural Birth, Death and Regeneration was subject to the latter.

Over the course of a weekend in 1979 it was white washed by the building management being deemed an “attractive nuisance.”

Birth, Death and Regeneration – North Wall (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Birth, Death and Regeneration, also know as the Palomar Mural, was painted by Eduardo Carrillo on the entire interior corridor, including the ceiling, of an historic Santa Cruz building.

Its dimensions were 17’x40’x8’ - a narrow vaulted passageway.

Crucifixion of the Indio

Birth, Death and Regeneration – Ceiling, Eduardo Carrillo, 1976/1979, From the collection of: Museo Eduardo Carrillo
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In the mural Eduardo Carrillo explored the connection between indigenous Mexican cultures and European Christian influences in a tour de force of spatial and allegorical imagery.

Birth, Death and Regeneration – South Wall Detail (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

A benevolent being

Birth, Death and Regeneration – Ceiling and South Wall (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

A birthing goddess on the ceiling...

Birth, Death and Regeneration – East Wall (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

A fisherman spreads his net on the east wall

Birth, Death and Regeneration – West Wall and Ceiling (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Birth, Death and Regeneration – Detail of West Wall (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Birth, Death and Regeneration - Detail of West Wall 2 (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Birth, Death and Regeneration - Detail of West Wall 3 (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Birth, Death and Regeneration – Eduardo Guiding Apprentice (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

The Making of "Birth Death Regeneration"

Eduardo Carrillo: A Life of Engagement [Spanish Subtitles] (2014) by Pedro Pablo Celedón, Barefoot ProductionsMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Birth, Death and Regeneration – Eduardo Painting (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Carrillo included students and community members in the painting of the mural, giving them experience in public art at a time when the value of such a community piece was not widely recognized.

Birth, Death and Regeneration – Eduardo and Apprentice (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Birth, Death and Regeneration – South Wall 2 (1976/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Unfortunately, in 1979 this magnificent mural was painted over, robbing Santa Cruz of a distinctive cultural landmark and the world of a truly remarkable mural.

Credits: Story

Curator: Betsy Andersen
Photography: Cruz Ortiz Zamarrón & Bill Reynolds
Techical Assistance: Vicki Winters
Barefoot Productions, Director Pedro Pablo Celedón

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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