Murals have been blooming like Denver's cherry blossom trees this spring. No sooner had we settled on our award-winning mural in the Best of Denver 2016 than amazing street art started popping up around town. Here are the ten best new street-art murals of 2016 (so far)...
414 East 20th Avenue
Dread is the mastermind behind the new gallery Four Site; he also happens to be the creator of the largest street-art festival in the state, Colorado Crush. For his recent birthday, Dread painted this mural on the east-facing wall at Horseshoe Lounge; the ethereal character sits next to a fresh and brilliantly executed freestyle.
9. Joseph Martinez
4395 Yates Street
Although he's known for his mastery of small-scale artwork, Joseph Martinez has created another large-scale mural with this beautiful crow on the wall of Crow Bar, a new bar in Berkeley that took the spot of Nip N Sip (and the Rosa Mia Inn before that). Martinez is also acclaimed for his art on matchbooks, as well as his mural work with Palabros, a trio featuring Martinez, Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios. Look for more work from Martinez this summer in association with the Urban Arts Fund.
1611 Platte Street
See this while you can, because this building on Platte Street won't be around long. That means we'll not only lose the original Monkey Barrel, but the amazing street art that Gamma Gallery has painted on the exterior of the doomed space. He started with a portrait of Peyton Manning, then added the Vince Lombardi trophy after our Super Bowl 50 win. His latest mural, behind trees on the north-facing wall, is a gorgeous female artist named Zaira Estrada, the second in a series featuring street-art portraits of real Colorado Creatives. The Monkey Barrel will be resurrected in Sunnyside this summer.
7. Faatma Norouzizadeh and Alicia Cardenas
2700 Larimer Street
The patio wall at Cold Crush is a revolving door of beautiful art. Right now it's serene and colorful, thanks to new work by Faatma Norouzizadeh and Alicia Cardenas, finished just in time for spring. Bien fait.
6. Art by Hex
In the alleyway in between 36th and 37th avenues, and Humboldt and Franklin streets
This new piece by Hex graces an ever-changing wall that's frequently painted by the SHR crew but invites new perspectives and new artists throughout the year. This new rendition is a favorite, featuring a tall traveler character by Hex. When you check him out, you'll also see some fresh new graf tags in wildstyle to the north.
Continue reading to find five more of the best new murals in Denver.
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5. Kwue Molly
In the alley between 27th and 28th, Larimer and Walnut streets
Kwue (pronounced "q") Molly traveled from New York City to Denver during 4/20 week and painted a whopping seven walls, curated by Like Minded Productions and MegaFauna. The colors of his works are chaotic, creating faces in a sea of lava-lamp essence. Look for a tiny version of the piece above on a smaller wall behind the Matchbox bar's patio a few blocks down Larimer.
West Sixth Avenue and Galapagos
Sadly, this piece has since been repainted — but it was wonderful while it lasted. The brash "Bite Me" iteration of this busy wall was painted on March 3 by Deer, an anonymous but prolific artist whose graffiti writing style is seen all over town. Less than a month later, it was dissed. We're eagerly awaiting more from the Denver native; in the meantime, check out the newest version of this wall painted by Todd and Mona.
3. Nice, Abeas and Chris Haven
In the alley between 28th and 29th, Larimer and Lawrence streets
Paint your own adventure! You rarely see street artists encouraging people to paint over their work, but here Chris Haven, Nice and Abeas have trail-blazed a brilliant concept, the equivalent of an urban coloring book. 2. Pat Milbery and Danny Fernandez
Declaration Brewing & Taco Cart/Prince tribute in RiNo
During his recent tour in Denver, Danny Fernandez took the time to paint in two spots with friend and collaborator Pat Milbery. They completed their largest wall to date at Declaration Brewery, pulling an all-nighter to finish before Fernandez headed back to Canada; they also repainted Milbery's taco truck that parks in front of the Matchbox weekend nights. The front features a taco cat, the side a stunning portrait and tribute to Prince.
1. Scot Lefavor
Jake's Sports and Spirits
3800 Walnut Street
Former Bostonian Scot Lefavor is one of the most unapologetic artists on the Denver scene, and his Mile High Salute, a tribute to Von Miller's MVP Super Bowl 50 win this year, proves it. The work on Jake's Sports and Spirits has received national acclaim and got a shout-out from Miller himself before the colors were even filled in. It's all done now, Von: Check it out! And look for more street-art work from Lefavor this summer.