Rounding off this batch of Upfest 2017 posts is this wonderful collaboration in a comic-strip style from artists Size Two and Laura Schindler. I think it is a rather special piece that was a little bit tucked away on the periphery of South Street park.
I am not fmiliar with either artist, but believe that both of them are form Austria and now live and work in Berlin.
The collaboration works so well for me, there is a good story going on, a fight against crime by a human and a robot – detective partners? The main characters are set on a washed out urban background of some dystopian future. I simply love it.
I think the prize for the busiest artists of Upfest 2017 goes to Pahnl who were not only the featured Festival artists for the year, but who also painted two walls with their intricate stencil work.
Actually, it was some days after the festival that they finally managed to finish this wall, but it was worth the wait. Their style of work has the look and feel of corporate identy and logos, with ‘toilet door man’ setting about various tasks and activities.
The partnership certainly produced something out of the ordinary with their work, unlike anything else at the festival. there is more about this duo from Birmingham on their fine website.
Some of the collaborations at Upfest 2017 were almost acidental or improvised. Others like this one were calculated and beautifully worked out. The artists, Carleen de Soza (left) and Dreph (right) painted portraits of each other, and in doing so switched colours for the skin tones and background.
I think both artists, who do a lot of portraits fgound it challenging being the subject of the artwork, but the final collaboration was outstanding and eye-catching.
The wall was a difficult one to photograph, because the light managed to shine down the back wall and bleached out the top of the frame. Also there were beams in the way, which didn’t quite fall centrally – probably not the best spot for a collaboration.
This piece was definitely one of the more memorable collaborations at the festival and I guess ther artists were relieved at having the partial cover to protect them from the rain showers.
Annika Pixie has a lightness of touch that brings a spot of magic to her pieces. She is a fine artist and lovely warm person. For half the year she spends her time teaching in Thailand, and her Instagram feed is a constant stream of beaches and sunsets.
This piece for Upfest must have been completed early on the Saturday, because I never got to see her at work, which was a real pity – maybe this year.
This is the last set of Losthills’ Jake the Dog pasteups from Upfest 2017 and what fun they are. Part of the joy of Upfest is finding these little gems attached to urban infrastructure in the Bedminster area, and if you are lucky, other pieces are left in other parts of town too. This was certainly the case with Losthills, and I still have a couple of those to share.
The Featured image at the top of this post sees Jake holding a ghost from the computer game Pacman. The Jake immediately above is dressed for the Daft Punk single Doin it Right.
I have no idea at all what cultural reference is being made in the wheatpaste above, but Jake appears to be wearing a basket hat and conducting electricity from his hands…if you know more feel free to let me know.
Finally, in the pasteup above, Jake is holdig a heart with the word Hex and is standing in a rather creepy horror-style environment. I am guessing this is a reference to the film Hex, which I will not have seens because horror movies frighten me and I won’t watch them.
It took me a lifetime to get round to finding this collaboration and at last posting it. It is just a little too far from my work to manage in a lunchtime, so I had to make a special trip. It is by the incredible Fanakapan and Insane51.
There is so much to love about this piece (except its location) that I don’t know where to start. I could try to start with the cracked wall, which is cleverly done and lets us into the world of these two artists. It is interesting that the character is both behind the hole (see his head) and in front of it (see his left arm further down). I don’t know if this is intentional, but it adds to the wackiness of the piece.
The flamingo and tin can are the work of Fanakapan and the double image of the baseball caped man is by Insane51. The whole piece is utterly bonkers and brilliant, so beautifully executed and incredible attention to detail.
I love the reflections in the sunglasses and in the tin can – these are the things that highlight how talented these artists are. the wall itself is a bugger to photograph, because there is not much room between it and the wall behind, as you can see from the long shot. I’ve been saving some of the really good Upfest pieces until last.
Where do I begin with this piece, a collaboration from Will Barras and Xenz? Not that we knew it at the time, but this is the swan song for this premium wall on the Masonic pub. The second hand car business has sold up and developers will be moving in soon.
I spoke to Will Barras Before he started this piece, and he felt rather intimated by the size of the wall, by the previous piece (Pichiavo) and by collaborating on something this large. However, he faced his demons and got on with the job.
My first impression was not favourable – I didn’t like it. I felt the wall was way too big and there was so much going on it was difficult to engage with it. It has taken me several months to change my views, but change they have – I have become a fan.
I’m not sure why I think this, but I think it is called ‘she’s a waterfall’ – a song by The Stone Roses – anyhow I might be wrong about that. The two artists with similar styles, but different subject matter preferences (Xenz – fantasy worlds and birds, Will Barras – bikes and abstract stuff), have combined to create a huge picture story which contains beauty, hope, fantasy and of course a bike. A fitting farewell to this stunning wall.