Colorado Crush 2014 was a killer event, with more visual artists, musical artists, PBR, aerosol cans clinking, crowds, and little kids breaking it down on the dance floor, than ever before. Thrown each year in the heart of the RiNo district in Denver, off of Larimer and 26th. This event organized by Denver artist and graffiti legend Dread has grown every year. It is a repainting of a few blocks that signifies the end of Summer but a new beginning for the street-art praise and love that Denver has grown accustomed to. Here are some of my favorite pieces painted at Colorado Crush 2014. See the full gallery to truly appreciate all the beautiful work done this year.
Mad Man Art & Jake Merten
Talented artists and muralists Mad Man Art, John out of LA, and Jake Merten from Chicago, have painted my number one favorite mural this year so far. Their energy in person, seeing their process, was remarkable. The pop-icon energy that bursts off the wall is truly brilliant.
The two combine a sharp, modern, and comic styling all into one. They painted a second piece while in town, off of Logan and i-25, part of my end-of-the-summer street-art roundup coming soon. Be sure to follow Madman Art and Look At Art on Instagram for more stunning, surreal street-art all year long!
Mike Graves is a local artist whose lively characters are unmistakable. He was given an amazing spot at this years event, taking over the wall Phetus 88 had coveted in 2013. He did it more than justice, maybe creating one of my favorite murals seen to date. Look for a surreal Octopussy/Takocat mural of Mike’s in the next Concrete Canvas. This artist kills it. Check out his personal Instagram for all the Mike Graves art you can handle.
Gamma is one of the most popular and influential street-artists working in Denver today. His work is everywhere. I wrote about a piece called Insomnia that he painted earlier this year, which was supposed to be painted over, and remains still. This piece, not meant to be temporary, was in fact temporary because of the changes needed in the short amount of time. The Gamma piece was powerful. Maybe too powerful for the building owner who asked for the switch. Either way, enjoy stunning photos of Gammas mural, now even more beautiful in it’s fleetingness.
The big wall is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Beginning with Gamma, moving down with Dread, Shitty Kitten, ending with a fan favorite Pizza Face by Saten. Shitty Kitten 1 is an illustrator and muralist, owner and creator of the artists initiative “Art or die.” His deity-like personified snake caught my eye immediately and was a crowd favorite. Well done, Shitty Kitten. Well done.
Saten painted this pizza face on the big wall, as well as a piece in collaboration with his crew Kings Destroy. The crew is like masked superheroes, I cannot divulge any more information or their real names. But I can tell you they are hard working, passionate, and talented in the graff and street-art game. KD is all over this alleyway.
Christina Angelina, Ease, & Dread
Christina Angelina and Ease came at night. With one night in Denver, and help from the busiest Denver artist curator Jonathan Lamb of Like Minded, Christina, Ease and Dread repainted the end section of the big wall. Ease is best known for the complex, arabesque like lines in the center. The right portrait was painted by Angelina, as the left portrait painted by Dread.
Christina Angelina aka StarFighterA is an artist out of LA at the peak of her career. She came straight from Burning Man to Crested Butte, to participate in Whatever U.S.A.. She often paints in Vegas, signing stunners from the desert, to New York, to all over the world. I am ecstastic that Starfightera has another stellar piece in the Mile High City. Go see it for yourself!
Like Minded Art
Michael Ortiz and Jonathan Lamb aka Like Minded Productions are the most influential artists to live and work out of Denver. The pair was recently commissioned to paint a stunning portrait of Bob Marley at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. Founded by reggae Marley himself, Tuff Gong Studios is considered the home of reggae music. It is now home to an historic, colorful, rasta piece by Like Minded. This is huge. Otriz and Lamb have some new work is at Marley Coffee as well, owned by Rohan Marley, who just moved their headquarters to Denver. Watching Ortiz paint, he has a deep connection to the zen-like quality of Marley. It just feels right. This piece above utilizes some of the stream-of-consciousness graffiti tags just like his Marley piece. Ortiz has been slammed this month, look for more work of his and Lamb‘s in the next Concrete Canvas!
I love Deity Art. Her signature has grown more complex and evolved each year. This may be my favorite Deity Art piece I have seen to date. She nails the eyes, the portraits ethereal quality, almost reminiscent of a siren. Speaking of sirens, Deity’s long hair makes the comparison for me. Truly establishing her style, watch out for this amazing local artist!
Nspire has an amazing street-art repertoire in the state. His and Guerilla Garden’s acclaimed “Stained Graff Mural” off of 8th and Santa Fe might be the most popular and well known to date. Also, in the entirety of this area along the Santa Fe Art district. Read my article feature on Nspire, and look for the work of this local artist around town!
Sintex’s Colorado Crush 2014 Native American homage and portrait is one of the most chilling and emotional faces of his to date. Sticking with a classical, portraiture style, Sintex had a dope and central spot along the biggest wall in the celebration.