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Denver Gonzalez
DenVer Gonzalez


  • Instagram

 I don't paint pretty pictures. I paint the pretty ugly truth.

I tell the truth because you are your own worst person you can lie to.

Here's my true story;  am always changing, and I am the work of art.


Born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas México, I remember the last time I saw my mom was crossing the river a child. On the other side, I was put into foster care with a family in The Valley. Seizures were common for me and I was often overstimulated walking in the street so I often looked down to cope. That gave me an idea. What if I could make murals not on walls, but on sidewalks for other kids like me who walk around looking down. What if they could see themselves as superheros in their own story unfolding at their feet? Surviving taught me to incorporate my surroundings into my creativity.

Trees are an inspiration to me. Plants survive because they constantly do math. They have 21 senses while we have five. You'll find me on a hike, in a hammock, or making wire bonsai sculptures marveling at nature. I began this ritual of creating trees to grieve and honor the memory of my friends who died in the streets during the 2021 Iceapocalypse.

I changed my name to Denver while living there studying to become an engineer. School debt sent me to the streets and I was chronically unhoused from 2009 until August 2021. I learned so many skills from the people I met, hydroponic systems, soaps, ponchos, rosaries, baby shoes, picture frames, roses out of toilet paper, and even how to strip speakers and magnetize them into tattoo guns. Boredom births creativity.

Creativity sustains survival.

In 2016, I camped under the 30' XYZ Atlas Sculpture on South Congress. in 2021 I joined the XYZ Atlas team to lead Draw Together art events and make my own handcrafted sculptures. I've learned to leave my art scattered like seeds around the city. You might find my art on the bus, in a theater, camp, park, street, prison, or City Hall.

I prefer to work with imperfect people who aren't ashamed because honesty builds trust.

Remember plants. Compost shit. Shit grows.

What's the difference between art and contraband? It is how you see.

I see Art healing.

I see Art re-building trust.

I see Art imagining new futures.

I see Art survive and thrive by simply being alive.

Can you see your story as an art all of its own?

            IG @denverartaustin

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