By Raymundo Muñoz
Pick a graffiti mural in Denver, any graffiti mural, and there’s a very good chance Gary “The Anarchivist” Glasser already shot it. And shot it well.
True, anyone with a camera can shoot a wall. But who in his right mind would want to shoot every wall?
Call it reverence, call it dedication, call it obsession, call it just plain crazy–it’s Gary, and if you have the pleasure of meeting him, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Crimson Hilt and 1/1 recently had the honor of hosting The Anarchivist’s first solo exhibition “In the Streets: The Photography of the Anarchivist.” The show featured a small collection of his favorite shots and writers (Taste, JIVE, Gamma, Mike Giant, Phued, Emit, and East, to name a few), many of whom were in attendance showing support for the photographer who has shown them so much.
Built upon years of documenting the temporary — and often illegal — street art that decorates the walls of our fair city, Glasser has built a venerable reputation among local and global writers alike. Nowadays notoriety among such artists goes beyond the streets and into the internet, making good photographic documentation vital in communicating an artist’s skill and vision.
As well, for an art form that is often derided by critics for its illegal nature, proper presentation can often be the deciding factor in converting non-believers. Capturing the beauty of a massive piece (which often involves many shots stitched together) with good lighting that highlights rich color-play and contrasts, while still being slave to the elements, requires toil and time.
In Gary’s world, that translates to no days-off, riding around town on his motorcycle (often in gloomy weather), with a tiny window of time, at the request of a long and growing list of graf writers for no pay whatsoever. On top of that, Glasser curates the walls (inside and out) of Denver’s Epic Brewery (even getting local art on their beer labels), is producing a collection of fine art model photography, and is currently in the process of releasing an online and coffee table book of his work.
Will this self-professed “crazy old man” slow down anytime soon? Not likely. Methinks he’s only just begun.
“In the Streets: The Photography of the Anarchivisit” runs through April 4 on display at Crimson Hilt. Photos are from the March 14th opening reception. For more of Gary’s work, visit the following websites:
Jarred De Palo, Gary Glasser, and Morgan Febrey
Jarred and artist Betsy “Dolla B” Rudolph
Artist Myah Bailey (right)