Born in 1934 in Lagos, Grillo had his primary and secondary education in Lagos and was briefly tutored by Aina Onabolu who was an itinerant teacher trying to encourage the teaching of art in both primary and secondary schools. He was also influenced by the works of Akinola Lasekan and J.K Oye who were more established artists at the time.
Grillo was admitted into the National College of Arts and Science (NCAST), Zaria in 1955 and graduated in 1960 and also did a year educational course obtaining the Art Teachers' Certificate in 1961.He later took postgraduate programmes in the United Kingdom.
Grillo started teaching art at the present day Yaba College of Technology in 1961 where he joined Paul Mount the British sculptor as a co teacher. He later set up the art department of the Yaba College of Technology where he was instrumental to the building of the School of Art Design and Printing. He retired from the college in 2008.
One of the acclaimed members of the Zaria Art Society, Grillo in his student days developed a unique stylized naturalistic approach to painting and sculpture. His use of colours is particularly interesting, notably the blend of blues, purples and the light tint painstakingly applied on canvas. His stained glass works can be found in private collections and churches such as Saint Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos.