1994. Upfest 2018 (130)

You can always be sure that you’re going to get something pretty fun from Angus, and at Upfest 2018 he was playing around with a fusion of mosaics incorporating film/TV characters in a Banksy setting. Clever and engaging stuff.

Angus, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Angus, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

In this piece, which must have taken days of preparation, Angus presents us with robots (in the place of chimps) from Star Wars, Futurama, Wall-E and one other that I can’t identify and the immortal words ‘laugh now but one day we’ll be in charge’. I rather hope that Banksy approves of this updated variant on his idea…another one made in Bristol.

Angus, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Angus, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

In terms of scale, Bender, the Futurama robot on the right was about human size – this mosaic was no small undertaking, and this was just one of three (or more?) that Angus worked on at Upfest. Hats off to his lateral thinking and endeavour…a great piece.

Advertisements

1993. Upfest 2018 (129)

Well this is an absolutely extraordinary and highly unusual portrait piece by Bristol-based artist Lee Ellis. I have not seen any of his work before, but that is because I think he is primarily a studio artist and not a street artist.

Lee Ellis, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Lee Ellis, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I took a look at his work on the Interweb and he has this incredible style that has a touch of menace and darkness about it, but also manages to convey emotions and passion in the subjects. It would be interesting to see what he could do with a proper outdoors wall. Striking work.

1991. Upfest 2018 (127)

Always, always a firm favourite with me are the pop culture stencils by Stephen Quick, a brilliant Bristol artist and Upfest regular. This piece ‘Can stand up, will stand up’ is one of a series of similar pieces that he has created with this character.

Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

There are several cultural references in the piece, which include the obvious homage to Star Wars, but also there is the sword of He Man and the bracelet (not in this picture) of Wonder Woman. His style is unique and vibrant, and I always look  forward to a quick annual catch up at Upfest.

1990. Upfest 2018 (126)

One of the more obviously striking and describable pieces of Upfest 2018 was this interesting hand speaker by Agent Provocateur. It is weird but whenever I look at it I find it very hard not to see the Northern Ireland flag, which is rather distracting.

Agent Provocateur, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Agent Provocateur, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This is a simple and quite challenging piece with an element of edge or threat combined with humour and general oddness. I’m not sure why there is so much damage to the right hand side board, but I think the artist could have tidied it up a little bit. Maybe I photographed it before completion. A memorable piece.

1989. Upfest 2018 (125)

Nevla was late to the party at Upfest 2018 and as a result I didn’t manage to get a final picture of his rather cookie panda. On the upside though I did at last get to meet the elusive cartoon king of Bristol street art, and what a nice fellow he is too.

Nevla, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Nevla, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I made a few notes on my iPhone about our conversation, but unfortunately I lost them when the motherboard gave up a few weeks ago. A quiet class act who seems to enjoy painting alone, Nevla adds something to the Bristol scene that is unerringly optimistic, which is a tonic when so much around us is in utter chaos.

1988. Upfest 2018 (124)

Just opposite the Tobacco Factory in Raleigh Road Justinks painted this captivating tiger with an interesting twist. He describes his art as surrealism and biorealism, and although I think the latter might be a made up word, it certainly works when explaining this piece.

Justinks, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Justinks, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Justinks is based in Malta and works as a tattoo artist (the crossover between the two disciplines is remarkable), but since 2011 he made the decision to go big and create some large street art pieces – a great decision in my mind. It is difficult to know what to make of the subject of this piece due to its distortion of the familiar, there is no doubting the talent of the artist though. Great work.

1987. Upfest 2018 (123)

This stunning shutter piece is by Sake One, a West Coast (USA) artist who has been spraying since the early eighties and was greatly involved with the hip hop culture in San Diego during his youth. There is a thorough biography of the artist on the Upfest website, which is worth a read.

Sake One, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Sake One, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The piece itself is a highly accomplished work, as you’d expect from an artist of this calibre. The profile of the girl is sensitively painted and blends perfectly with the subtle writing to its right. The tragedy of shutter pieces is that they are rarely seen during daylight hours, even at weekends when so many shops seem to be open…not like in the old days!