1785. Upfest 2018 (61)

This might be the most high-profile piece at Upfest 2018 and was possibly the most photographed wall of the festival. It is by the outstanding duo Nomad Clan whose fisherman and octopus wowed visitors at last year’s event.

Nomad Clan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Nomad Clan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This piece combines two themes for the festival in a beautiful way; The Simpsons and Bristol Women’s Voice celebrating 100 years of the first women getting the vote. Lisa Simpson is the perfect choice as a champion for women and I think this piece is entitled #bemorelisa. All walls have to start somewhere and this one starts with a grid.

The whole thing took about three days to complete and is a real tour de force from Nomad Clan. They really do excel at these large walls and seem to have the capacity to paint them with such apparent ease.

Nomad Clan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Nomad Clan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

It is easy to see just why this was such a popular piece at the festival from the sheer scale, but for me it is the Lisa Simpson that leaps out, there is something about her face and eyes that works for me.

Nomad Clan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Nomad Clan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I am not sure who the other character is, but with the loud hailer, it is obvious that this is all about Women’s voice. An impressive work, although I am probably more fond of last year’s piece.

Nomad Clan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Nomad Clan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

 

 

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1766. Upfest 2018 (60)

There were a few wheatpasters at Upfest this year that were completely new to me, including Mini Gabi who created this fun piece, I think on North Street. Having done just a little bit of research on Mini Gabi, she certainly seems to be well established and has an excellent website and biography that you can find here.

Mini Gabi, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Mini Gabi, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I like the Sex Pistols reference with a soft take on it with the words ‘I just want to be me’. There are some similarities with Phoebe New York, not so much in style, but more in creating a fictional character to be pasted about the place. Another similarity is in the inclusion of contemporary quotes or short phrases. The artist is actually called Gabi Almeida, but for this blog I shall be calling her Mini Gabi, because it makes sense to me. There might be more of these to follow.

1765. Upfest 2018 (59)

This was not the main piece by Si2 (Hull Graffiti) at Upfest this year, but a lovely gift to leave behind. Si2’s wheelie bins can be found all over the place, generally wherever the artist has been. To get a utility box thrown in for good measure is an extra treat.

Hull Graffiti, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Hull Graffiti, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Si2 has a great knack for creating deep shadows on his monster faces that give them a texture and almost 3D feel to them. The strong prime colours might also help them to stand out. You would have a heart of stone not to raise at least a small smirk on seeing these creations.

Hull Graffiti, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Hull Graffiti, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I was not 100 percent convinced my his official piece this yer, but will need to take anothert look before writing a post about it. These are however, delightful.

1764. Upfest 2018 (58)

Some readers will know that Dice 67 is one of my favourite artists and that I have been really enjoying his transition from stencil artist to freehand and from practitioner to festival organiser – an inspirational artist and one I was fortunate enough to interview in this post published in July last year.

Dice 67, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Dice 67, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This striking piece features American teenager Alyssa Carson who is working towards being one of the first astronauts to journey to Mars some time in the 2030s. I have watched a couple of videos of her, and her youthful ambition is inspiring.

Dice 67, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Dice 67, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Dice 67 is creating some outstanding work and this piece is probably my favourite freehand work to date. The proportions on the board work well and the feeling of space to the left of Alyssa is cleverly done. I love the quote…

Always follow your dream and don’t let anyone take it away from you

…oh to be young again.

1763. Upfest 2018 (57)

The candle has blown out on the European project for the UK and this wonderful piece by Christian Boehmer (Böhmer) a German artist whose work I first saw at Upfest last year and have tracked on Instagram ever since. His trademark is that all the people in his works have paper bags over their heads to play with the idea of anonymity.

Christian Boehmer, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Christian Boehmer, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I still find our national vote to leave Europe deeply embarrassing and depressing and can’t believe what a pig’s ear we are making of it. The ‘Britain first’ narrative does not chime for me. It stinks of arrogance and intolerance – behaviours I and many others dislike. This piece I find quite a poignant reminder of our collective folly.

Christian Boehmer, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Christian Boehmer, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I do like Christian Boehmer’s work and was pleased to have seen his return to Upfest. I rather hope he comes again next year and that I get a chance to meet him.

 

 

1762. Upfest 2018 (56)

One of the more unusual pieces at Upfest 2018 was this absolutely wonderful tile installation on the gates of the Tobacco Factory by Chinagirl Tile. As the years go by, her work becomes more and more ambitious, and this ceramic Giraffe is certainly the largest work I have seen from this Austrian (international) artist.

Chinagirl Tile, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Chinagirl Tile, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The incredible giraffe is entitled ‘it’s a zoo up there’ was funded by the Austrian Cultural Forum London and BMEIA, and that got me thinking that her work must be rather expensive to produce and that funding and sponsorship must be an important factor in her ability to work. spray can artists probably don’t have the same kind of overheads.

Chinagirl Tile, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Chinagirl Tile, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Unfortunately I don’t think I have been able to do this piece justice, mainly because when I took the pictures, the sun was directly behind it. I think this is a wall that needs photographing early in the morning or in the evening. If you look closely, you can see the individual tile sections that are placed together to make the whole. I guess this is for ease of modelling and firing as well as transportation.

Another unusual feature of this piece is that the head of the giraffe is 3 dimensional, not a flat tile that one expects from Chinagirl Tile. I really love her work and am proud that she has chosen Bristol to play host to several of her pieces over recent years.

1761. Upfest 2018 (55)

At last year’s Upfest, one of the most distinct cartoon pieces was by the brilliant Kid30, and this year he has followed up with this rather gory, but equally excellent piece. His work is so very crisp and clean and the shadows work well to lift the characters up from the background.

Kid 30, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Kid 30, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I think Kid30 has a bit of a thing for stitching, and his characters and often stitched in a bit of as Frankenstein monster way. I guess it is probably better not to delve too deeply into the artist’s mind to understand what is underlying here, rather just to sit back and admire his talent.

Kid 30, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Kid 30, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The speech bubble is rather fun too, which brings me to a question which is why is it always blah, blah, blah and not Blah or Blah, Blah or even blah, blah, blah blah? The symmetry of three.

Kid 30, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Kid 30, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017