959. Upfest 2017 (25)

Bristol really does love its foxes, so to see one appear as part of Upfest is always very welcome. This beautiful piece is by Bex Glover, a contemporary artist and illustrator who runs a freelance illustration and graphic design practice in Bristol.

Bex Glover, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Bex Glover, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

From a viewers perspective, there are so many things to look at in this work. Glover’s illustration skills are clear to see and the abstract backdrop brings the fox into sharp focus. A nice touch in the haunches of the fox hints at a yin yang symbol. The fox looks wily, just as it should and ready to move off at the slightest disturbance.

Bex Glover, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Bex Glover, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This is a calming piece with superb colour selection which may have gone unnoticed by many visitors as it is just off the main road and set back just a little. Last year this spot was occupied by a wonderful stencil by DinDin.

Din Din, Lime Road, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Din Din, Lime Road, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

958. Upfest 2017 (24)

One of the stars of Upfest 2017, and quite rightly so, was Dzia. This incredible artist has been brightening up streets all over the world with his beautifully drawn/sprayed animals with a style so unique and recognisable. We have been lucky enough to get this robin.

Dzia, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Dzia, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

On the face of it, his pieces are constructed with lines, almost like doodles that, when brought together, create a magnificent whole. The pieces he creates look like they have come out of an A4 sketchpad and yet they are scaled-up significantly and work just as well. There is often a lot of white space in his work, but again this works in his favour.

Dzia, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Dzia, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This wall had been reserved for Inkie, but for whatever reason he didn’t fill the space, so Dzia got an extra wall and Bristol got this magnificent robin. This was actually his second piece and supplementary to his main piece which is at the Red Point climbing centre. I still haven’t gone there to photograph it yet, but when I do I will be posting it here.

I feel like it is a real privilege to have one of his pieces in Bristol, but to get two is simply being spoilt.

957. Upfest 2017 (23)

Stefania Gala is an Italian tattoo artist who has only recently turned her talent to street art. Her first piece I think was from earlier this year and shows what a future she can have in street art should she wish to follow it up.

Stefania Gala, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Stefania Gala, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

In the Biography notes of the Upfest programme, she says ‘Recently I had the opportunity to paint my first wall in an abandoned place and I had the great joy of being able to express myself artistically in a place to be revalued. In order to get rid of the ‘canvas’ and to give my artwork to others, unconditionally.’ I like that sentiment very much.

Stefania Gala, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Stefania Gala, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This piece for Upfest is really beautiful and captivating and interestingly does not look like a tattoo piece reworked…she is creating something special in its own right as street art. It is a clever piece, using a 3D effect to place the subject in the box really skilfully.

I hope she spends more time on her street art and comes back to Bristol for next year’s Upfest.

956. Upfest 2017 (22)

A great thing about Upfest is that it gives us all the chance to see emerging local artists and it gives those young artists some great exposure. Lisa Allen is a Bristol artist who started to create urban art only last year, and here we have a stencil piece with a pop art feel to it and the surrounding decorations give it something of a 1980s touch.

Lisa Allen, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Lisa Allen, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

A bright and witty piece which makes good use of the metre square format. I very much look forward to seeing more of her work on the streets of Bristol – perhaps as more ‘legal’ walls are created.

955. Upfest 2017 (21)

I had been waiting for a long time to at last meet up with Mr Klue, and the one place you can be more confident that such a meeting will take place is at Upfest. I found him just as he was finishing off this beautiful abstract piece in a corner of the South Street Park site.

Mr Klue, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Mr Klue, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

Mr Klue is a disarmingly modest man whose style of abstract work is unparalleled in Bristol. I’m not entirely sure he knows how gifted he is, and his works convey great skill and thoughtfulness. I particularly like this one with its wispy smoke and swirly shapes shifting to a vanishing point.

Mr Klue, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Mr Klue, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I don’t know how we got onto the subject, but Mr Klue told me that he does all his drawings in biro…an implement I can’t stand, but one that allows his work to flow, he likes the feel of it. Now there’s something you didn’t know.

A great piece from a great young man who I was so very pleased to catch up with. I hope our paths cross again soon.

950. Upfest 2017 (20)

This is a wonderful and photogenic piece by Karl Read, a stencil artist from the south coast who produced another lovely piece at Upfest 2016. A boy dressed as superman wearing converses and flying on a swing is a winning idea, and this piece has movement, tenderness and nostalgia combined in equal measure.

Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I don’t know how he put up with the tiny space he had to work in and the crowds stepping over his kit to get photographs of his work and the adjacent work of Lemak.

Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This was another really striking piece from the festival and has been shared a lot on Instagram over the last week or two. I really rather like it and feel that perhaps it deserved a permanent wall rather than a board, but then I could say that about pretty much everything at the festival. Note for next year…more permanent walls please.

Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

949. Upfest 2017 (19)

Many will instantly recognise the wonderful abstract work of Decay instantly. A Bristol-based graffiti artist who has appeared in numerous posts on this blog, with his characteristic concentric shapes of black, white, grey and red. He was very smart this year – he is a quick worker, and he sprayed his piece early on the Saturday morning before the rain came, and was then free to enjoy the festival with the rest of us punters.

Decay, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Decay, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I met up with him in one of the venues, I think it was the Rising Sun, by chance which was lucky, because I had told him via Instagram that I wanted to buy one of his lovely new T-shirts and would do so if I met him. The shirt is great, and a nice souvenir of the day. I also had another little souvenir in the shape of one of the spray cans Decay used to spray this piece (the one on the left of the feature image).

Mrs Scooj was not impressed and said that I was behaving like a groupie and should grow up a bit. I prefer to think of myself working alongside these artists, and whilst I admire them I don’t think I idolise them. Without archivists and rapporteurs, our world would be transient and ‘in the moment’ but there would be little in the way of context.

Another fine Decay piece.