KUSA - Sometimes a canvas is just not enough. That's why muralist Gamma uses the walls around Denver to house his collection of work.
"I'll see little kids pass by and ever so often one of them will ask me 'Why are you painting on that wall? And my answer to them is: 'Imagine the drawings that you do, but bigger than you are!'" street artist Gamma said. "It doesn't really satisfy me to see a little piece of art."
The Denver-born, Longmont-raised artist, who's full name is Gamma Acosta, took a risk years ago to bring his vision to life.
"I got to the point where I was losing out on opportunities, so I either had to quit [my] job and go full blast on this or give up the dream," he said. "So, I quit my job."
Little by little, Gamma's murals started popping up all over Denver and Longmont, like a living gallery - adding a new piece to the repertoire every week.
"Sometimes I'll just paint them just because an idea hit me and I can't get it out of my head," he said. "I have to paint it so I could move on to the next concept," he said.
Gamma's work varies between commercial and personal - but all are done freehand - without the help of tracing or a projector.
One of his more notable works lives on the side of the Monkey Barrel Bar at 1611 Platte Street, commemorating the 2014 Broncos Super Bowl season with a larger-than-life Peyton Manning. His finished product quickly made its way online, and nationally on Sports Illustrated.
It's the wall on the side of Bella Vista Restaurant on 20th and Sherman where Gamma was given the creative freedom to materialize his thoughts.
"Some of them are for fun, some of them have a purpose," he says. He's addressed issues including human trafficking on the wall - but makes sure to leave enough open to interpretation.
Like his 2012 mural in Longmont which features shattering crayons. Created after Sandy Hook, the crayons can conjurer up so many emotions once the real meaning is revealed. The piece has since been bought by a private buyer.
And just as soon as the paint dries on one mural, you can hear the shaking of the spray can as he starts the next. Often times, he paints over his own existing art.
"I try to paint over them as quickly as possible, so it will give them incentive to come see it while it's up because they don't know when it's going to be gone," he said.
Other countries have noticed his work too. This summer he flew out to Europe for commissioned murals. One towered over a music festival in Belgium, painted on semi-truck beds.
Despite his ever-growing international gigs, Gamma wants to keep Colorado as his main canvas.
"When I don't see the mountains, it doesn't feel right. And I like painting no matter what, but I love Colorado, good people here all the time," he said.
To view more of his pieces - new and old - look the map below. Mobile link: http://bit.ly/1MLeH3z.
Gamma is currently working on several pieces, including a collaboration "Back to the Future" mural in Denver and commissioned work across the county. He recently did a signing for limited-edition spray cans featuring his work. Part of the proceeds benefited a friend who was recently injured.
For more information, visit http://gammagallery.co/.
Photographs of "Not For Sale" and the "Sandy Hook Crayons" are courtesy of Gary "The Anarchivist" Glasser.
(© 2015 KUSA)