Harry Gamboa, Jr. 

Harry Gamboa, Jr. is an artist, writer, performer, and photographer. He was a founding member of ASCO, the Chicano artists collective that was active from 1972 to 1987. This anecdote is excerpted from an interview with Marielos Kluck, and had been edited and condensed for clarity.

[In the early 1980s,] the Arco Center exhibition, the Echo Park series, altered Carlos’s life a little bit. He started receiving financial support for his work. He shifted his opinions and had a lot of advice about making money, saving money, and investing money. I had the chance to talk to him about that one day on the bus. He was someone who seemed very friendly but always had the presence of being a mentor to everyone he would encounter. I wasn’t very close to him at all but he did pose for me several times to be photographed. One day I was meeting with him; he was doing his series of car crashes. He had a studio on Spring Street and at that point I was an unemployed artist. He offered me a very large painting for fifty dollars. And I said, “well I don’t have fifty cents but if I get fifty dollars I might come back.” By the time I got that fifty dollars, I am sure the painting was worth a tremendous amount. And that was the object lesson, regarding finance. 


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