I think I might have said this last year, but somehow Upfest wouldn’t feel like Upfest without a presence from Cheo. One of Bristol’s most established graffiti writers and character street artists, his work is always of the highest quality. Judging from his Instagram account, I think he prepares these pictures on his computer and then recreates scaled up versions, which lends itself to his very clean style with solid fills.
I have seen these characters a few times before. I never quite know what they are, frogs? toothless crocs? monsters? your guess is as good as mine. The writing has a feel of Japanese script to it and from time to time Cheo uses this. I really don’t know what it says, but would guess at CHEO, although I can’t see it myself. He finishes the whole thing off, of course, with one of his signature bees. All good.
I remember at Upfest 2017 really loving a piece by Lauren Maria Hill and she has come up trumps again in 2018. A fine artist, who is probably more at home in the studio, Lauren Maria Hill manages to use these smaller boards to showcase her stunning portrait work.
Unfortunately I never saw the finished piece, I think it must have been taken away and protected from the showery weather, but you can get the general idea from these pictures. This is another work from Upfest 2018 to feature a leaf from a Swiss cheese plant – Maybe they are fun to paint.
Anyone reading this will know that I am a big fan of Kid Crayon. His bright and unusual pieces always contain an element of wit, charm or mischief and this pink crocodile demonstrates this sense of fun with a commmentary on the rain that fell throughout the Upfest festival.
This shutter piece was the second that he did at the festival, both using this colour scheme, so I am guessing that he got a job lot of these colours especially for the weekend. There is something really endearing about this crocodile and there is a gentleness to the way he is holding the little umbrella. A lovely piece.
It wasn’t until Upfest this year that I discovered that I already knew The Hass, but under another name (there is a clue in the piece itself). It would seem that he has two street personas, one for his profession as a designer, and the other for recreation. I can tell you now that all of his work under whatever name is brilliant, and this piece is emblematic of that.
I am always going to favour an underwater scene and this one takes some beating. It really creates the impression of being under the sea, with the skylight creating a small shimmer at the top of the piece. There is a great story here, although it rather defeats me…the diver’s face looks like a carved pumpkin, but might be a skull.
There is a ship in a bottle that morphs into the diver’s helmet and octopus tentacles all over the place. Another nice touch are the goofy three-eyed fish from The Simpsons that also make it into Louis Masai’s coral reef piece from this year’s festival. There is another The Hass piece just off Park Street that I must photograph when I get a chance.