Dominic Espinoza - Part 1Antonito, Colorado

~Espinoza 1

A slideshow containing images by photographer Fred Scruton.

West Region


Dominic Espinoza (b. 1948)

Cano's Castle

Art Type or Medium: Architectural; Environment/Installation

Status: active

Viewable: yes

Secular or Religious: Mixed

An uninhabitable, monumental shrine, Espinoza started building the castle around 1980. He hauled the “regal” pink exterior wall stone out of the desert in nearby New Mexico, and covered much of the metal-sheathed surfaces with the circular ends of aluminum cans— earning him the nickname: “Cano.” “I just followed where one board ends, looking at it, and imagining the board is gonna throw me this way—oh, I think that looks good— I’ll just follow that.” A Vietnam veteran, Buddhist temples the young foot soldier saw in Southeast Asia made a lasting impression, and he hoped to one day build his own Christian-inspired response. His best friend in the Army was killed one month before his “time in country” would have been up, and Dominic gives thanks to a “guardian angel” for his own safe return in1970. Perhaps the castle is a dwelling after all: for Cano’s spirit guides and protectors.

In January 2022, Dominic Espinoza’s house caught fire.  He escaped unharmed and the castle structures were undamaged, but only the ground floor walls of his home remained standing.  As of May 2022, the plaster ceilings of the living room and bedroom were covered with tarps while his living room and bathroom were open to the sky.  He was collecting lumber donations for his plans to rebuild a second story.

Dominic Espinoza house; Antonito, CO 2022
Dominic Espinoza house; Antonito, CO 2022

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