Anyone who was at Upfest 2016 would have been utterly charmed by the incredible tree frogs by JXC. It was one of my favourite pieces from last year, and I wrote about it here.
This year he was afforded a larger wall, one that Voyder wrote ‘Bristol’ on last time round. Instead of tree frogs, JXC treated us to an extraordinary seascape with a rather intimidating octopus in the foreground and some naval mines in the background.
This was another of the pieces that probably took longer to create than might have been expected, due to the constant rain interruptions over the three days of the festival.
The mouth on the side of the octopus isn’t the octopuss’s beak, rather is it a shark mouth inked onto its side. JXC’s work is heavily inkled with words and drawings that resemble tattoos, creating an interesting effect o the surface texture of the subject.
There is a story going on in this piece which is a little tricky to decypher. The words ‘Just Lie’ appear under the shark but I’m not sure what that refers to. Nice to see a smiley on the bomb – some ironic commentary there?