One of the most pleasurable parts of the new format for Upfest, was the opportunity to meet artists in the weeks before the festival weekend while they were completing their allocated walls, and none more so than Ant Carver who I also met last year. The technique and painting methods he uses means that he paints over several days, and I think I caught up with him on three separate occasions while he painted this extraordinary portrait piece.
The first stage to his work is creating a matrix on the wall which he photographs and then superimposes his draft onto on his mobile phone. The lines act as a grid which he uses to map out a sketch on the wall, and he can create his outlines with pin-point accuracy. I believe that the piece is one he had painted on canvass for an exhibition.
Ant Carver, I think, uses spray cans for some of the work, but much of it is painted with brushes. The fine detail in the piece is achieved with the brushes, something that would be difficult to achieve using spray paint alone.
I have a feeling that This piece, and indeed last year’s 75 x 75 piece are about aspects of mental health. I am not too certain that Ant Carver completed the piece, because the candle doesn’t look finished to me. I’ll need to check up on that.
All in all another very pleasing and special piece from Ant Carver, on a new wall for Upfest, which is in a really great spot for maximum exposure. Great work from this modest and really likeable artist.
What a treat it was to meet Ant Carver while he was painting this beauty, not once or twice, but three times. Perhaps this was because I visited the area quite a few times but also because he took his time completing the piece. It is funny how some artists can fly in and out in a day while others take considerably longer.
Ant Carver used a technique called a doodle grid to paint this magnificent portrait piece. The way it works is a little bit like a combination of grid squares and tracing paper. The wall is painted with squiggles and patterns that act as reference points. The doodle is photographed and then the desired design superimposed onto the photograph of the doodle and made slightly transparent, so that the doodle comes through. The artist is then able to look at the photograph composite on their phone and use it to get all the lines and detail in exactly the right place on the wall. Worth checking out on the Interweb if you are interested.
This portrait has been painted on a new wall for Upfest, adding capacity, which is great because you can never have enough walls.
The piece is called ‘The Hand We’re Dealt’ and can best be described using the artist’s own words from his Instagram account:
‘‘The Hand We’re Dealt’ is the latest piece in my series of work exploring loss. Over the past few months I’ve been using my paintings as a way to reflect on my experience with grief. This is the latest painting in that series. Each element of the painting can be interpreted differently by the viewer, but to me the candle represents the passing of time and the luxury it is for that to happen. The skull symbolises life and death, and the cards reference the lottery of life and the hand we’re dealt.’
This is another superb piece from the London-based artist. I only wish my photographs could do it justice.
I have only seen Ant Carver’s work at Upfest, so it was with some excitement that I found this wheatpaste piece by him during my extensive stroll around Shoreditch. His style is instantly recognisable and all the better for having witnessed the way he builds his work up at Upfest 2018.
This was not the only wheatpaste by Mr Carver that I found on this particular walk and It will give me great pleasure to share the other one with you soon. It comes as no surprise that it is the eyes that captivate the audience in his pieces, and it must have something to do with the way he builds his pictures up. Great work.
I always enjoy seeing the evolution of a piece of artwork, and Upfest affords the perfect opportunity to see artists at work and follow progress from cradle to grave. Of course this does depend on being in the right place at the right times, and I got lucky with this outstanding piece by Ant Carver.
The first stage of this work was to give the wall a splash of colour and texture…the first layer. A mask was then applied to create a draft of the eyes, nose and mouth in isolation from the rest of the work, a little bit like a stencil.
Once the draft of the eyes, nose and mouth had been added, Ant Carver got to work on the detail, using greyscale for these features. The skill of the piece is in blending all these layers to create a wonderful effect of the separateness and togetherness of greyscale and colour and the strength of detail in the features and vagueness with the rest of the face…very clever work.
I managed to get a couple of slightly poor pictures of his work at Upfest 2017, so it was nice to be able to get this series of slightly better pictures this time round. A memorable and unusual piece.
It is unfortunate that sometimes the photographs I take of great works simply don’t do them justice, this is one such example. This is a brilliant portrait by the London-based artist Ant Carver, who has used amazing colour shadings to create a rich and textured appearance on the skin of the subject. It is a really clever technique that adds real depth to the piece
By the time I got to photograph this great work, the sun was in completely the wrong place and it looks cold and a bit drab, which it most cerrtainly wasn’t. Ant Carver is an artist whose work chimes for me and I would have liked to have spent a moment or two to chat with him, but he looked a bit busy with finishing off, so I left him to it. Maybe next time.