Statue

 

Queen Victoria

ghostly white, still, stony gaze

commands her subjects.

 

by Scooj

 

On noticing that the statue of Queen Victoria on the edge of College Green in Bristol has been cleaned up, but the dirt that gave the statue details some relief, has gone and she now resembles a ghost. Happy Halloween.

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1813. Upfest 2018 (73)

Yet another new wall for 2018, and how well it has been utilised by Dinho Bento. I guess this wall could have been split into two or three slots, but what a great decision to keep its integrity.

Dinho Bento, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Dinho Bento, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Dinho Bento is a Brazilian artist whose work seems to draw inspiration from the natural world. A quick glance at his Facebook feed tells you that he is interested in portraying the interconnectedness of humanity with our environment, and the organic green strands in this piece are a representation of that connection – or at least, that is my interpretation.

Dinho Bento, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Dinho Bento, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I can’t necessarily put my finger on it, but artists from different countries definitely have national styles, or perhaps continental styles, and this piece really screams out South America. I guess the more art you see, the more you recognise this phenomenon, and while it is not true of all artists, it is a real thing.

Dinho Bento, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Dinho Bento, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The natural world themes and story of this piece really chime for me. It is called ‘Listen to Nature’ – something I have done all my life. Great work Dinho Bento.

1812. Upfest 2018 (72)

Damn those parked cars!

Caro Pepe, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Caro Pepe, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Although this extraordinary piece is signed by Caro Pepe, I think she had some support from her frequent painting partner Age Age. This wall was another one themed with Bristol Women’s Voice (along with the Nomad Clan Lisa Simpson). Commemorating one hundred years of the Women’s vote.

Caro Pepe, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Caro Pepe, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I really like these rather surreal pieces that Caro Pepe is producing at the moment, with the cut-away pieces of head exposing thoughts, emotions and ideas – very powerful stuff and a further dimension to the covered eye that distinguishes her work.

Caro Pepe, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Caro Pepe, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

So, another great wall and another great artist at Upfest 2018 – I think this is another one that makes it into my top 10.

1811. Upfest 2018 (71)

Well this is an absolute stunner, make no mistake. A few days in the making, and the scaffolding hiding the true genius of both the piece and subject, this must be one of the highlights of Upfest 2018.

Arcy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Arcy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

It is a strange thing as a writer and observer of street art, that I am really only familiar with Bristol street artists or artists who frequently visit Bristol. I really don’t know very much about the world circuit of famous artists that travel the globe for festivals and commissions – this leaves me looking a bit daft when writing up pieces like this one because I simply don’t know the artist Arcy at all.

Arcy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Arcy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018Arcy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

One thing is for sure though I will certainly be looking out for his stuff on the Interweb from now on, as this is such an outstanding work by a truly gifted artist. His website is well worth a look, and his biography is here. Also check out his gallery of walls…this guy is good.

Arcy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Arcy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Of course, the picture is of one of the greatest and most influential people of our time, Stephen Hawking, who sadly died in March this year aged 76. I think that this piece really captures the spirit of Stephen Hawking brilliantly, the bright and slightly cheeky personality. This is photorealistic art at its best. Bravo!

Arcy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Arcy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

1810. M32 roundabout J3 (99)

Smak has really been smashing it lately with some magnificent writing all over Bristol. His colour combinations, lettering and feature details are just getting better and better. This is a fine recent piece from the M32 Roundabout.

Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2018
Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2018

I love the colour progression from left to right, and the letters while slightly disguised are clearly legible. It is the temple facade in the middle of the piece that really lifts it up to another level and columns and stone too. This is a great piece.

Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2018
Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2018

Heavy hand

 

Writing on the wall

says ‘nobody wins the war’;

graffiti plays out.

 

by Scooj

 

The words were scrawled up on a wall of The Bearpit, walls which Bristol City Council keep on painting only to be tagged moments later. The City Council in their zeal to tidy up The Bearpit (for whatever reason) are not bringing people with them. Their ‘ban it’ mentality is leading to a degradation of a space that only two years ago was vibrant, colourful and tidy. In trying to tackle problems such as addiction and violence and homelessness and graffiti and skateboarding, the clampdown is using the ‘clean up’ of The Bearpit as a deflection of its own failings and those of the Government in these years of austerity, and is wrongly conflating these issues.

Homeless people are not necessarily addicts. Addicts are not necessarily graffiti artists. Graffiti artists are not necessarily skateboarders. Skateboarders are not necessarily violent. Violence is not necessarily practiced by homeless people. And so on…

Work with the people who use this space.

Nobody wins the war.