This is one of my favourite stencils from one of my favourite stencil artists (although he has moved more into freehand work), Dice 67. The painting features his daughter Izzy wearing a hoodie, gold skirt and pink wellies. Izzy has her own fine work to the right of the feature image.
This was not the main Upfest piece from Dice 67, rather it was a bit of a bonus, sprayed on a vacant board from a no-show artist. All good.
When I asked some artists from the RAW crew about who painted this they told me it was by the legendary Turoe (Turo). Now, I have come into this rather late, the last 3-4 years or so, and I find it quite difficult penetrating the street art world that predates my interest. Because of this, there are many gaps in my knowledge and this was the first time I had seen work from the artist.
The entry for Turoe in the Upfest programme simply reads “Old school Bristol graffiti legend”. Further reading in the book ‘Children of the Can’ (Bristol graffiti and street art) by Felix Braun confirms his standing as a major player in the Bristol graffiti and hip hop scene.
The work itself is beautifully done, which screams punk rock. It is interesting that before the eyes were completed the punk rocker is reasonably generic, but with the eyes it could only be Johnny Rotten. Nice piece.
One of the more academic and mind-blowing pieces at Upfest 2017 was this absolutely stunning classical style piece by Mezla. I managed to catch up with him while he was painting this piece and he said that he was supposed to be using the boards down at Ashton Gate, but that he found the music just a little bit too loud for his liking, so he crossed over the road and found this wall.
I absolutely love the way he has combined abstract work with some life form, and the subtle shades and colours are perfect. This really is one of my favourites from Upfest 2017 and is so very different from pretty much everything else on display.
I don’t think I can praise this piece highly enough. His Upfest biography reveals how he started off as a writer but has moved on since.
Well, well, well, the gifts just keep coming. Regular readers will know that I have only recently discovered the wonderful art of Pekoe and I have featured her work a couple of times in the last month. It turns out that while I was going through another batch of pictures from my Upfest 2017 archive, I found this piece by an ‘unknown’ artist who I now know is Pekoe. I love it when this kind of thing happens.
Her Upfest piece was definitely one that caught the eye and is rather more polished than some of her street work – it is a festival after all. She sticks with the female portrait formula that appears to be her preferred subject matter. I am reliably informed by Gary, the art blogger that this wea actually a collaboration piece with Mr Sleven and DNT.
Pekoe is a talented Bristol-based artist whose work I am just getting to grips with and I certainly want to see a whole load more. Looking forward to it. Worth a quick peek at her Linked-in page too.
Rounding off this batch of Upfest 2017 posts is this wonderful collaboration in a comic-strip style from artists Size Two and Laura Schindler. I think it is a rather special piece that was a little bit tucked away on the periphery of South Street park.
I am not fmiliar with either artist, but believe that both of them are form Austria and now live and work in Berlin.
The collaboration works so well for me, there is a good story going on, a fight against crime by a human and a robot – detective partners? The main characters are set on a washed out urban background of some dystopian future. I simply love it.
What an extraordinary piece by Title at the Ashton Gate site. The character to those of you not familiar with Marvel comics is Thanos, who I believe makes an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – a film I haven’t seen yet, but will do when the DVD arrives.
The detail in the face and expression bring this ‘photorealistic’ piece to life. Title, from Birmingham is a full time artist, taking commissions around the country. He enjoys festivals, which he can focus on while trying to balance a busy work schedule and family life.
Would be good to see him again at Upfest, but I don’t see his name down for 2018, so mnaybe another time.
I think the prize for the busiest artists of Upfest 2017 goes to Pahnl who were not only the featured Festival artists for the year, but who also painted two walls with their intricate stencil work.
Actually, it was some days after the festival that they finally managed to finish this wall, but it was worth the wait. Their style of work has the look and feel of corporate identy and logos, with ‘toilet door man’ setting about various tasks and activities.
The partnership certainly produced something out of the ordinary with their work, unlike anything else at the festival. there is more about this duo from Birmingham on their fine website.
Some of the collaborations at Upfest 2017 were almost acidental or improvised. Others like this one were calculated and beautifully worked out. The artists, Carleen de Soza (left) and Dreph (right) painted portraits of each other, and in doing so switched colours for the skin tones and background.
I think both artists, who do a lot of portraits fgound it challenging being the subject of the artwork, but the final collaboration was outstanding and eye-catching.
The wall was a difficult one to photograph, because the light managed to shine down the back wall and bleached out the top of the frame. Also there were beams in the way, which didn’t quite fall centrally – probably not the best spot for a collaboration.
This piece was definitely one of the more memorable collaborations at the festival and I guess ther artists were relieved at having the partial cover to protect them from the rain showers.
Annika Pixie has a lightness of touch that brings a spot of magic to her pieces. She is a fine artist and lovely warm person. For half the year she spends her time teaching in Thailand, and her Instagram feed is a constant stream of beaches and sunsets.
This piece for Upfest must have been completed early on the Saturday, because I never got to see her at work, which was a real pity – maybe this year.
This is the last set of Losthills’ Jake the Dog pasteups from Upfest 2017 and what fun they are. Part of the joy of Upfest is finding these little gems attached to urban infrastructure in the Bedminster area, and if you are lucky, other pieces are left in other parts of town too. This was certainly the case with Losthills, and I still have a couple of those to share.
The Featured image at the top of this post sees Jake holding a ghost from the computer game Pacman. The Jake immediately above is dressed for the Daft Punk single Doin it Right.
I have no idea at all what cultural reference is being made in the wheatpaste above, but Jake appears to be wearing a basket hat and conducting electricity from his hands…if you know more feel free to let me know.
Finally, in the pasteup above, Jake is holdig a heart with the word Hex and is standing in a rather creepy horror-style environment. I am guessing this is a reference to the film Hex, which I will not have seens because horror movies frighten me and I won’t watch them.