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Urban legend 

For one local artist, graffiti and high art reach heights

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A city like Colorado Springs may not be the kind of place to inspire urban cityscapes, but artist and native Tylan Troyer has uncovered and beautified the industrial in the Springs.

Railroads, specifically, make up a large presence in Troyer's art. He finds the train cars, often marked by graffiti, particularly striking. "Ever since I was really young," he says, "I used go out in the backyard because I could see them when I would climb up in my tree and watch them go by."

His style, cultivated through high school and college, has led to an unusual blend of graffiti flourishes embedded in semi-realistic and illustrative train scenes.

Troyer's paintings are a staple on the walls of contemporary galleries such as Edifice, WeUsOur Artist's Market and OpticalReverb at Phantom Canyon. His works often hang in group shows, such as this month's From Within at Edifice, as well as the Smokebrush Gallery's upcoming Hope: Helping Other People Everywhere. He's also regularly displayed in the Business of Art Center's retail space, and within a month, will grace the walls of Manitou Springs' Swirl Wine Emporium.

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While Troyer doesn't consider himself a graffiti artist, he holds the art form in high respect.

"I think it's real fresh, real human," he says. "It's pretty much been done as long as there have been humans, if you call the rock art 'graffiti.' It's one of the truest expressions.

"I like the power and the effect that the aerosol (gun) gives and the immediate feeling ... they have this rebellious look to them."

And to keep his work up to par, Troyer works on a more traditional level, practicing landscapes and figure drawing. This kind of discipline shows in the young artist's varying subjects, from nudes to ultra-slick designs executed with a skateboard deck in mind.

As for the trains, Troyer keeps them in his back pocket.

"I've always been fascinated by trains ... [their] power and they have this freedom ... nothing can stop them."


Artwork by Tylan Troyer
Edifice Gallery, 325 N. Tejon St., through September
Business of Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, regular rotation
Smokebrush Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., Nov. 7 through Dec. 19
Swirl Wine Emporium, 717 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, works to hang soon
  • Tylan Troyer has uncovered and beautified the industrial in the Springs.

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