DENVER (CBS4) – Artwork and sports. They’re two things that aren’t normally associated with each other. But Gabe Richesson is known as an artist for athletes, and he shares his craft with the Denver Broncos.
Richesson’s pieces hang in the weight room to help balance the life of intensity with beauty.
“I want it to look gritty and beautiful at the same time,” said Richesson.
Richesson has created masterpieces for Peyton Manning and Brock Lesnar.
He told CBS4 he credits his unique edge to spending time with the athletes.
“There’s not a lot of artists that I’ve met that even play any sports, let alone football,” said Richesson.
Richesson played football in college, but stopped to focus on art.
That’s when his brother, Luke, brought him back into the circle of sports. Luke Richesson is the strength and conditioning coach for the Denver Broncos.
It started when Luke mentioned Gabe’s work to Washington Redskins safety DeAngelo Hall.
“He said ‘Have him paint me something,’ and so I did a small painting for DeAngelo and he ordered three more. I literally have not stopped since,” Richesson said.
Richesson design the Iron Sharpens Iron logo that hangs at Broncos headquarters, along with a large cityscape that hangs in the weight room.
His most recent project named “Aptitude for Destruction” features past and present Broncos players.
Each painting depicts what motivates the player to take the field.
Broncos safety T.J. Ward is one of the players depicted.
“I started with my faith because that’s what I hold first, and my family, and I just started looking at different pieces that brought me to where I am,” said Ward, in describing the art.
“Each player was interesting to me because the different positions had totally different imagery going through their mind which isn’t what you’d expect,” Richesson said.
Richesson details the differences he saw between offensive and defensive players.
He says some on the offense have a more controlled attitude, while defensive players are constantly pursuing an action.
“I want to go above and beyond. I don’t want it to be just a photograph, because these guys have access to photos,” Richesson said. “Through color and design I make sure that it stands out from photos.”
Five of Richesson’s pieces were recently auctioned off at an exhibit at the Black Book Gallery. The proceeds go toward Denver Broncos charities.