The story, and the man, behind the climber mural in Denver

In Denver, near I-25, 'The Climber' stands tall and looks over the city. What's the story behind it?

DENVER - If you've ever been stuck in traffic at I-25 and Colorado Boulevard, you might have seen a painting of a climber on the side of a big office building.

The mural, which is east of the highway, was painted by Chris Krieg, and he's been doing this since the 70s. He's painted hundreds of billboard signs and murals, from California to New York.

"I was that goofy left-handed kid, the kid that always drew everything," Krieg said. When Krieg first started painting at 19, he knew it was what he was going to be doing for the rest of his life. 

"The Climber" mural took 38 gallons of paint and 30 days. The owner of the building, Stuart Ogilvie, wanted to renovate the old office building to make it more modern.

"It looked like a huge canvas to us," Ogilvie said while describing the side of the building. "We wanted to have it stand out." 

Ogilvie met Krieg, and the rest is history.

"It was like love at first sight," Ogilvie said as he laughed. "Hate to say it that about another man but when I first met him, I said I know this is the guy."

But Krieg said it's about the mural and not the person behind it.

"I don't really think I'm anything special. I'm just a really slow printing press is what I am," Krieg said laughing.

The climber is originally a photo that was chosen by Krieg and Ogilvie, who just wanted the mural to be seen from miles away. 

They have plans to paint another mural on the other side of the building. This one will fade, but should last about 15 years. 

Krieg's 25-year-old son helped him paint "The Climber," and he wants to follow in his dad's footsteps.

 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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