This was most certainly one of the highlights of my Upfest experience last year even before I knew that it was by an artist whose work I admire greatly, Braga Last 1.
I saw this piece early in its genesis on one of my first circuits around South Street Park, but inspite of Braga being scrawled all over it, the penny hadn’t dropped. It wasn’t until the end of the second day that I was able to see the finished piece and grab a few moments chatting with Braga Last 1, or at least I should say with his girlfriend as he struggled a litle with English.
The piece is a self-portrait with a crazy bag of stuff in a back pack…but where is he off to? If you take a closer look, this is actually a Brexit piece – there are some clues in the bag.
If you look carefully, you can see that in the rucksack is a book ‘Brexit for Dummies’ a brilliant title. What saddens me is that Europeans view our departure as utter folly, and I can’t help agreeing with them. I feel embarrassed and ashamed that our nation voted to leave and I am left feeling closer to the Europeans than to my own countryfolk. I fear an unhealthy legacy for many decades to come.
One of the first large pieces I saw at Upfest 2017 was this fabulously pink ice cream delight from Buff Monster on the side of the Salvation Army building which has played host to some wonderful work in previous festivals.
There seems to be quite a big thing for monsters in the street art world, and I guess it relates to having a licence to spray whatever comes from the imagination. There are some great monster artists out there of which Buff Monster is one.
This is a great big piece of fun which has been beautifully sprayed and is a real asset to this part of East Street.
I hadn’t seen any of Buff Monster’s work before this (one of the brilliant aspects of Upfest), but was lucky enough to find a piece subsequently when I was on holiday in New York. It is always great to see something by an artist you are familiar with…comforting.
I haven’t posted anything by Cheba for what seems a very long while, although I do know of one or two pieces he has created recently of which this is one. It would seem that he likes this particular spot which he has sprayed in the past.
Cheba is the master of cosmic murals, it is his thing and he does it so very well. It is possible to immerse yourself entirely in this piece, looking at the stars and clouds in this imaginary scene. While it might not be to everyone’s taste, this is beautifully sprayed and brings something of outer space into the centre of a busy city.
I’m not quite sure how this spot has passed me by until a couple of weeks ago. On the site where my old garage used to be – the place where I got my car MOTd – there is now a large development under construction. I believe that an hotel is being built, although I’m mystified as to why they have chosen to locate one here, it is not exactly a prime site.
There are several Bristol artists featured on this hoarding and the first of these I am witing about is Aspire. His work is always a real treat to find, especially as he now lives in London, and seeing new work by him in Bristol is a rarity. His depiction of birds is in the same category as ATM and Louis Masai and is always an eyebrow-raiser in these urban locations.
In this piece Aspire has painted four pigeons, although these are so beautiful I’d prefer to call them rock doves. In the centre of the picture is, I think, a partridge. I’m not sure of the significance of this…maybe there isn’t any, but it is an unusual assembly of species. Aspire’s work is always brilliant and this piece simply confirms that.
I do like Mr Draws. It has been fun following his progress over the last three or so years and seeing his unstoppable enthusiasm for experimentation. His pieces are raw and creative, but not the highly polished design pieces we see from several other Bristol writers.
Mr Draws ploughs his own furrow and will not be intimidated by any nonsensical hierarchy – he just gets on and does what he loves. I caught up with him while he was spraying this unusual piece and he announced that he was going to be moving to Berlin later in the year. I will definitely miss tracking down his work, but I think he will have an amazing time.
This week artists from all over the globe have been finding out whether their applications to paint at Upfest 2018 have been accepted. Mr Draws has made the cut and will be there.
One of my favourite streets and one of my favourite artists – the perfect match. This is a lovely piece by Face F1st, who is probably one of Bristol’s most consistently prolific artists on the street at the moment.
This is a large work, with all his characteristic swirls and figure of eights worked into a pattern and the letters FACE book-ending the face in the middle. Sadly this fine work lasted less than a week.
I always like finding Elvs pieces, there is something about how intricate and so very clean about them. Fantastic detailing and sharpness that so many pieces I see every day just don’t have. One of the features that helps his work stand out, is that his vanishing point for the shaded edges of the letters is somewhere in the middle of the piece, whereas much of the writing you see has a vanishing point to one side or the other. Small thing I know, but these things help give artists their uniqueness.
As ever his lettering is outstanding and the colours really stand out on the blue background. I get the impression that his work probabkly takes quite some time to do, no sign of a quick throw up mentality here. I have not yet med Elvs, but would sure like to se him at work.