Visual Arts

Gamma Acosta Represents the U.S. at North West Walls in Belgium

Do not come to North West Walls if you are afraid of heights. Artist Gamma Acosta, a Longmont native whose street art is a familiar sight around Denver, has spent the last few weeks painting these giant piles of stacked shipping containers in Brussels, Belgium. He is the only U.S representative in an international collection of acclaimed street artists creating masterpieces in the outdoor gallery called North West Walls. This crew is the second class of artists to paint the shipping containers, now a permanent fixture of the festival park.
Northwest Walls is curated by Arne Quinze, a world-renowned surrealist sculptural painter from Belgium, and sponsored by Rock Werchter, a music and arts festival that has happened each summer in this space since 2008. Other artists collaborating on their own pile of shipping containers are Nychos from Austria, Lula Goce from Spain, Fintan McGee from Australia, Smug from the U.K., and Pixel Pancho from Italy.  
In the photo above, Acosta is sitting on top of his 75-foot-tall work of art. The mural is named "Colossus of Rhodes," and he stuck with his signature style of aerosol and freehand, using no projector. Acosta thanked his brother Lorenzo Acosta, who is the subject holding his breath on the larger-than-life canvas, as well as the collective artists which whom he worked both abroad and at home, including Rachelooch, Gabino, Eank NES crew, Payer BTR crew, Jason Stiles, Kat and Kush of 7 LYPH HAUZ, and finally his uncle Chuy.
"My chief task has been to conquer fear," Acosta says, quoting Harry Houdini. "The public sees only the thrill of the accomplished trick; they have no conception of the tortuous preliminary self-training that was necessary to conquer fear... no one except myself can appreciate how I have to work at this job every single day, never letting up for a moment. I always have on my mind the thought that next year I must do something greater, something more wonderful." 

North West Walls was finished in time for this year's Rock Wercher, which runs June 25-28. Find out more here. 

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lindsey Bartlett is a writer, photographer, artist, Denver native and weed-snob. Her work has been published in Vanity Fair, High Times and Leafly, to name a few.
Contact: Lindsey Bartlett