First impressions count, and when I was doing my first walk around Upfest on the Saturday, this piece leapt out at me and grabbed my attention. Although I tend to have many favourites much of the time, I think I would have to say that this was the outstanding piece for me at Upfest 2017.
This friendly monster is by Bisser, a 27 year old Belgian artist and according to his Upfest biography notes ‘he’s influenced by graffiti, street art, muralism, cartoons and comics. His visual style is figurative and is very recognisable’.
The first thought I had when I saw this monster was of the book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, by Maurice Sendak. So much expression, a simple idea beautifully executed. This piece deserves a permanent wall. Maybe if he comes to Upfest again he’ll get one – he certainly ought to on the back of this.
I chatted for a while with Bisser, and he is such a decent unassuming, modest fellow. He told me that his name in Flemish (I think that’s what he said) means ‘taken twice’ in relation to exams/college work – I think the equivalent in English would be ‘retake’. He adopted the name because he had to do his art exams a second time after first failing them. I like it that he has found strength and even a moniker from facing up to challenges. My favourite piece at Upfest.