Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart Artists

Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart ArtistsEXPAND
Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing

Get ready for the arty party of the year: Artopia 2017, Westword's annual celebration of art, culture and fashion, will return on Saturday, February 25. And this round, we're bringing style off the streets and into City Hall, where we'll commemorate four of Denver's most iconic strips — Larimer, Santa Fe, Federal and Colfax — as well as the city's best street artists.

Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing will be one of the artists repping Colfax, with a select collection of street photography that he shot on "Denver's seductive misfit angel," he explains. "Cradling much of the city's energy and identity...an artery flowing with complexity, compassion and chaos. Colfax sings her song of survival, laughter, madness and magic. And I love her for it."

Here are some of the photos in the Ghost Lenz Colfax collection:

Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart ArtistsEXPAND
Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing
Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart ArtistsEXPAND
Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing
Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart ArtistsEXPAND
Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing
Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart ArtistsEXPAND
Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing
Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart ArtistsEXPAND
Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing
Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart ArtistsEXPAND
Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing
Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart ArtistsEXPAND
Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing
Meet Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, One of Artopia 2017's Street-Smart ArtistsEXPAND
Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing

Ghost Lenz photography covers more than Colfax, though. Says Riesing: "Photography is spiritual for me. It heightens my self-awareness...my ability to understand and accept joy and darkness within. It illuminates connections to external energies unfamiliar and familiar to me, wherever I am, and opens my eyes, mind and heart. I have an insatiable hunger for storytelling…to unearth hidden beauty, celebrate paradox, discover truth…to explore the power of life. My creative focus is contextually narrative, and my photography work includes street, portrait, documentary, fashion, music and travel. Photography plugs me into the combustible jazz of the human condition. I love to shoot. It sets me free."

See more of Riesing's work at ghostlenz.com and Instagram: ghost_lenz. And at Artopia 2017, of course, where curator Jolt of Guerilla Garden will fill the Colfax/Cue Room with Riesing's photos, along with work by 303 Boards; Thick as Thieves Tattoo with Ryan Yates, Elizabeth Rybecky, Kevin Miller, Mike Pinto, Samantha Kuhn and Jymi Shores; Chris Bailey with his North American Skateboard Express; and Save the Signs with Corky Scholl, Brendan Lenahan, Mark Stein, Bill Guerriero and Joshua Hicks. Nine of Denver's top designers will also show their street smarts in the Whiteout fashion show, always an Artopia highlight.

Tickets are now on sale at westwordartopia.com. Early entry general admission tickets are $30; general admission tickets are $25. But use your street smarts to get the best deal of all: $100 VIP tickets snag you guaranteed seating by the fashion runway, a reception featuring food from Troy Guard's restaurants and an open bar, a goodie bag and all the art you can handle.

See you at Artopia 2017!

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