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Denver Art Museum overhangs 13th Ave from The Hill

I had an unexpected moment of fan-awe last month when I decided to go see Sam Flores, David Choe, and Highraff paint live in Denver, CO. My friend Astrid sent me mail about this event. I skimmed it not realizing what it entailed. I originally told her I was going to a Huck Gee signing in Phoenix that weekend. I should support anything that comes to Phoenix as there are rarely any art or toy events here.
Then, as I was going through some items in my saved reading list, I came across it again. The Terminal Kings in Denver were putting on a unique opportunity to see some renowned artists put on a live painting show at City Hall nightclub. The resulting artwork would be displayed in the airport terminal. Huck Gee would have to wait.

I’ve been to City Hall once before for a wild Halloween party. This was my 1st time there in broad daylight. It took me awhile to realize it was the same place. Then I started pointing out the familiarity to ThePilot. “Out there is where we sat huddled together by a six foot mound of snow!” “There’s the heat lamp where I asked a sexy Bo-Peep if she was cold and she said ‘Uuum, yeaaaah.” “That’s the stage where Hiccup took that picture of me and BabyAnne!”

Today the semi-outdoor amphitheater was closed up and lit with construction lighting. The three level venue was completely taken over by some seriously grandiose works of spray paint art.

I have been following the work of David Choe for several years. He has innovated methods of street art highlighted in a documentary that took director Harry Kim 10 years to make. The result was Dirty Hands and could be described as mind blowing.

I will admit that before this show I did not know the name Highraff. I was immediately a fan. His work has a psycadelic quality to it and contrasts precise geometry with organic shapes. I had to keep telling myself that this was done with spray paint. It’s easy to forget.

The popularization of urban art toys has introduced me to so many talented artists. Sam Flores is another artist that I became aware of through my toy obsession. While the toy scene may be cooling down for awhile, the artists continue to amaze. Sam Flores is a unique voice in urban art. His work will always stand out and be easily identified. This show elevated my fandom through the roof.

The first day, ThePilot and I saw Flores working on this peacock girl.

Throughout the days we were at this event we saw this mysterious woman evolve.

A reoccurring theme in Flores’ work are figures disguised as animals. There are so many things I love in this mural of masks. The colors are perfect. The details are sharp and intriguing. I love all the stars he puts in his work. Being a star myself, my eyes are drawn to them.

I have seen a few of my favorite artists paint, either live or in video. I always learn something that I can incorporate into my own work. I was fascinated by the techniques that these street artists employ. They seem so resourceful. It’s kinda lo-tech genius.

On our second day return, Astrid met us at City, O’ City in downtown Denver. It’s a vegan restaurant. So a some-timey vegetarian like me can eat without worry. We love the seitan wings! I also had some yummy locally-made hibiscus kombucha.

mural outside City, O’ City

After watching Sam Flores paint again, Astrid was somehow able to pull me away to watch the mini B-Boy battle that was starting inside. I don’t mean that it was a small battle, the boys definitely brang it. I mean that the boys were young shorties. The first battle was for the under 18 set.

Because this was a show of live painting, most of these works are in progress in my photos. See the finished works at Denver International Airport for the next five years. You can also find more information at

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Posted in art and travel by lucysbeau on February 7th, 2012 at 6:30 PM.


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2 Replies

  1. The Pilot Feb 11th 2012

    Awesome fun time :)

  2. awesome writeup thanks so much for coming glad you enjoyed it! <3 love the Terminal Kings