Kid crayon is a favourite Bristol artist of mine and his contribution to Upfest this year was straight forward and fun. I’m not too sure what the crocodile, triangle and cake are all about, but I’m sure they have some kind of meaning. The piece also carries birthday wishes for Meg.
I think Kid Crayon had seen the forecast for Sunday and had managed to complete his piece by early Saturday afternoon. I managed to swing by when he was painting and chatted for a short while. It is one of the great things about Upfest that you get to see works in progress and figure out how these artists go about their work.
Each year at Upfest, there is a feature artist, and this year it was Jody. This small golden apple piece is one of a few works that Jody created at this year’s festival. In this piece, Jody has taken a simple idea and made it spectacular. The shading and light blended with the gold grey and white colours gives us an exceptional and compelling image, which contrasts so well with the black background.
Jody must have completed this, and one or two other small pieces before the festival began, which is probably just as well, because he was still painting his main piece a few days after the end of Upfest. I am including a picture from last year, to remind you of the considerable talents of this Bristol artist.
This stunning piece from Piet Rodriguez was one of the first I saw at this year’s Upfest and it set the bar very high indeed. Some readers might recognise this site from a recent ‘Thursday doors‘ post on this blog…what a vast improvement this make-over has made.
Piet Rodriguez is a French artist who was raised in Brussels, and a quick look at his website gives you an idea of what an accomplished artist he is. I gather from his biography in the Upfest porgramme that he only took up the spray can in 2015, which surely is a good thing for all of us.
This was not the only piece that Piet Rodriguez did at Upfest, and I will post his smaller board from South Street park at a later date. I think I am a fan.
Daa da da da da da da da daa daa dada dada. Getting right to the heart of the matter is this brilliant Simpsons piece from Soker. He really is quite one of the best writers around and this sofa scene totally proves it.
His use of the Simpson characters on the sofa, a scene so familiar to anyone who watches the show, to create his name is inspired, and taking a closer look, there is almost a Picassoesque look to Lisa and Homer in particular.
The whole scene is well observed, with the lampshade and the picture of a sailing boat on the wall, and is indeed a special homage to the genius of Matt Groenig.
I managed to catch up with Soker, which I have never managed to do before, and had a quick chat on the Friday, again on the Saturday morning and later on in the Spotted Cow. I think he had slightly overdone his merrymaking on Friday night and had to abandon painting on the Saturday, nursing a bit of a sore head.
I asked him why sometimes he wrote Soker and at other times Sokem. His answer seemed sensible to me…he started off with Soker (pronounced Soccer), but found the R difficult to write, so changed it to Sokem, before reverting once he found the R easier.
This has to be one of my favourites from Upfest 2018, and is really an outstanding piece.
I thought I’d kick off Upfest 2018 with one of the highlight walls of the festival which speaks volumes to me (a marine biologist by training), and really brightened things up.
One of the less celebrated, but nonetheless special, walls at Upfest is this side street, Mount Pleasant Terrace, just off North Street. Previous occupiers of this wall have been Sokar Uno (2016) and My Dog Sighs and Snub 23 (2017), so it has a great pedigree. This year the mural went big, spreading beyond the first floor and covering the entire end of row wall.
At first glance it might not be obvious that this is a Louis Masai piece, but a closer inspection gives away some of the tell tale signs, such as a patchwork turtle, and of course a signature!
I was pretty spaced out at the festival, absorbing so much visual information but not really seeing things right in front of me – sensory overload if you like. I didn’t take a proper look at the wall until the scaffolding was down a couple of days later and then it hit me, this is a brilliant piece by Louis Masai.
There is so much to look at in this coral reef scene, but of course it comes with an environmental message, and there floating around the reef are a couple of Tesco bags, which once seen can’t be unseen.
I love the way that he entered into the spirit of the Simpsons theme of the festival and presented us with a cartoon mutant fish with three eyes gawkily cruising across the reef. Some serious messages interspersed with a bit of fun. A great piece to start with. Hats off to Louis Masai.