Zabou, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

1737. Upfest 2018 (48)

Unconscious bias is a curious beast, but it lurks in each of us in one form or another. One expression of it in me is the assumption that street artists are male unless they are not…if you see what I mean. I have made some terrible gender assumptions in the past with T-Rex, Skor85 to name just two, and so it was with Zabou. I have seen her work in London, but automatically thought she was a he. How glad I was to actually see Zabou at work during Upfest and to be able to write this post without falling in to the trap of gender assumption.

Zabou, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Zabou, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

To their credit, the organisers of Upfest do not ask for the artist’s gender on the application forms for entry and so never quite know what the gender mix will be at the festival…this year it was about 35% female artists, which, in what we consider to be a male dominated arena, is very encouraging indeed.

Zabou, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Zabou, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This piece by Zabou, originally from France, but now operating out of London, is a stunning portrait beautifully executed, and it is really interesting to see from these pictures how the layers build up to give the final whole.

Zabou, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Zabou, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I love the little sprays of colour on the hand, fingers and face of the subject – it is these little details that bring works like this to life. I really love the portrait, and wish I had been able to find a little bit of time to speak to Zabou, but the festival is large and the days short. Maybe next time.

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scooj

I am Stephen. I live in Bristol, UK. I decided to shorten my profile...to this: Wildlife, haiku, travel, streetart, psychogeography and my family. Not necessarily in that order.

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