Edward "Chuco" Caballero
( Loss of the Walking Canvas )
Article by: C.A.
Photos by: Edgar Hoill, Big Tiny and Ian Young
Graphics Courtesy of Greenspan's Clothing
California tattoo legend Edward "Chuco" Caballero died on November 2008 following a battle with an aggressive form of cancer; just as he had become one of the nations most familiar faces in the tattoo and lowrider scene. Thousands of family and friends mourned his loss as the “walking canvas” was laid to rest at the All Soul's Cemetery, in Long Beach, California on Friday, November 7, 2008.
He was known to many as El Chuco and simply Chuy to others. Many considered the southern California native the true grand daddy pachuco with a natural zoot suit persona. He was remembered for his Calo dialect as he told stories about his life growing up as a pachuco in the in the 1960's. He remained true to the style all the way to his recent death.
As a pioneer of the tattoo community, Edward "Chuco" Caballero spent many years touring tattoo conventions worldwide. Just like tattoo legend Ed Hardey, Chuco too has become an legacy in the world of tattoos.
He earned a good reputation in the tattoo & lowrider scene, and was a popular representation of Greenspan's, the last original clothing store that sell vintage style pachuco clothing and other hard to find items.
Just like tattoo femme fatale Kat Von D, Edward "Chuco" Caballero became an immediate celebrity and gained the respect of tattoo aficionados around the world.
Fans mourning his recent death have gone as far as tattoo portraits of Chuco on their bodies, as well as sport T-shirts with his image. His body’s monotone black and gray tattoos reflected cultural, religious and prison themes. Chuco was a true fan of Hollywood gangster Robert De Niro and confirmed his admiration for the celebrity by tattooing a portrait of De Niro on himself. Chuco was also known for his tattoos of American actresses Susan Hayward, Marilyn Manroe and the Statue of Liberty.
"I grew up in the 60's," quoted Chuco, at the Body Art Expo in 2005 prior to his death, "when you could own a tattoo only if you were a gang member, a drug addict, or in prison. Now, celebrities and movie stars have made tattooing mainstream."
We are honored to share all Chuco has achieved and present this page in his eternal loving memory. Enjoy!