The last time La Vida Latina paid a visit to the talents of artist and muralist, Gamma Acosta, he had been commissioned to paint a tribute to the Denver Broncos on the Cooper Building on 17th and Curtis in downtown Denver. The mural still stands and continues to remind sports fans both from and visiting Denver which professional franchise remains king of the Mile High City.
Since finishing that mural at the peak of Broncomania in 2014, Acosta’s star has continued to rise garnering national and international attention while painting on walls across the Denver Metro area and beyond.
In 2015, the native of Longmont was the lone representative from the United States invited to Brussels, Belgium to participate in North West Walls, an outdoor gallery sponsored by the music and arts festival, Rock Werchter. Painting with spray paint (his signature) on giant, stacked shipping containers, Acosta created a piece titled “Colossus of Rhodes” depicting his brother, Lorenzo, in an attempt to escape from a water tank a la Houdini.
That project, however, is just one of many that have earned Acosta worldwide fame. Athletes, in particular, have taken a liking to Acosta’s signature heart and life-like depictions.
One of his most famous mural around town, that of Peyton Manning in Broncos orange and blue on 9th and Main St. in Longmont became a T-shirt during the team’s Super Bowl runs of the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Aside from Broncos, Acosta delves into everything from political and timely – one buyer paid Acosta for his shattered crayons tribute to Sandy Hook and proceeded to have the entire wall cut out so the mural would never be painted over – to pop culture and communal.
Acosta caught a break nationally when he was asked to be a part of the NFL Films series “A Football Life.” It was Acosta who was able to interview National Football League Hall of Fame running back, Curtis Martin, on his career that spanned 12 seasons with the New England Patriots and New York Jets while painting a mural that depicted Martin’s journey to and through the NFL.
“You know what his stuff is by the heart and just the sheer perfectionism,” said Emmanuel Curtis, a self-described connoisseur of street and mural art as well as an aspiring artist in Metro Denver. “He does a lot of timely stuff, which is really cool and he also just does some stuff that you can tell is for himself. Like music he likes and stuff like that. He really sets the bar for all of us that look to add an artistic element to our town.”
Gamma Gallery Portrait Project
In an effort to keep the art flowing throughout Denver and beyond, Gamma Acosta and his gallery, the Gamma Gallery, are beginning the Portrait Project. According to Gamma Gallery’s Facebook page, the idea of the project is to create “mural portraits of local, creative individuals” to spread around greater Denver.
The subjects to be depicted are to be individuals with a creative outlook on life such as scientists, writers, musicians, dancers, cultural icons from the community, chefs, fashionistas and philosophers among others. The murals will come to life through a collaboration between Acosta and different photographers and guest artists on the various concepts.
According to Gamma Gallery, they are still accepting nominations to either be a part of the project or to be recognized by it.
“Maybe you know a poet that deserves recognition, but hasn’t found an outlet or a local cultural leader who champions community,” the Facebook invitation states. To nominate an individual go to the Gamma Gallery Portrait Project on Facebook and state why that individual should be honored.