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Luis Valle, Miami Street Artist, Opens Show at Alto Tonight

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Luis Valle is a Nicaraguan-born, Miami-based artist best known as his muralist alter-ego, El Chan Guri. Tonight Valle himself will be at Alto Gallery for the unveiling of "The Eagle and the Condor in Flight," his colorful, near-psychedelic installation that pushes the boundaries of our interpretation of the world.

"It's a mix, basically; my work is influenced by shamanistic, indigenous plant-based societies," says Valle. "I get influenced by all kinds of indigenous native societies from African to Pre-Columbian to Polynesian. All tribal indigenous cultures have a lot of similarities in the way they live, in their artwork, so it's just meant to reflect all of those different places in the world."

While Valle's work has been shown in many gallery settings over his twenty-year career, he's also renowned as a graffiti or street artist, able to translate his dotted waves of energy onto large concrete canvases. Valle will be creating several murals during his stay in Denver, including a commission on Urban Dispensary and a wall during Colorado Crush, a massive street-art weekend set for September 17-18. "The canvases in this town are amazing. I can see artists salivating over some of these walls," Valle says of Crush. He's a close friend of two of the most famous muralists participating: Jose Mertz, also from Miami, and Woes, a former Miami artist now based in L.A.

Valle's show at Alto takes up the entire gallery; in the bathroom a photo captures one of Valle's murals, which is located in Wynwood and was painted for the Mayan End-of-the-World observation in 2012.

Alto is the brainchild of artists Anthony Garcia Sr., Westword MasterMind and founder of the non-profit Birdseed Collective, and Raymundo Munoz, Denver art aficionado and editor in chief of 1/1 Magazine. It opened earlier this year at 4345 West 41st Avenue, where the grand-opening reception for "The Eagle and the Condor Together in Flight" will start at 7 p.m. tonight. Admission is free and there will be a live painting session by Luis Valle as well as a live DJ set. Call 720-569-7463 for more information.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.