When you immerse yourself in the world of street art and graffiti writing in the way that I and many others do, you develop a deep sense of how good the art is in terms of technical skills, emotional grab, story telling, colour sense and so on. And sometimes you need only glance at a piece for a second to realise that it is truly outstanding and on a different level. This is how I felt when I saw this from Smak in Dean Lane a week or so back.
It feels like seeing something in CinemaScope for the first time when you are used to a smaller format. The letters spelling SMAK are perfectly arranged and the colours and fills, with a metallic feel, are outstanding. For me, this is a great example of perfect graffiti writing, and such a wonderful Christmas gift from Smak.
There is so much construction work going on in Bristol it is quite mind-boggling, and this in the shadow of ten years of austerity and now a coronavirus recession – there are obviously still large bags of money out there. Construction usually means that, for a short while at least, temporary hoardings will be installed, and if you are lucky the constructors may commission street artists to paint them in the hope that they don’t get covered in unattractive tags.
Temple way is no stranger to construction, but may be a stranger to the talents of Kin Dose whose meerkat piece is outstanding in every way. Kin Dose uses an airbrush technique that allows him to create the detail in the fur and the tree branch and so on. Sit back and enjoy this wonderful masterpiece from one of the very best.
Clean, sharp, crisp, brilliant design and a touch and tone that altogether scream out the name Dibz. This is a really classy piece from the local artist, and if I have any complaints at all it is that we just don’t see enough of his work around the place.
Everything about this is good and even if you are not a fan of graffiti writing you must be able to appreciate the quality of this piece. From the cerise background, which acts as a brilliant host colour for the rest of the piece, to the split colours used in the lettering and the graded shading therein, this piece oozes quality. I could go on, but feel that I am in danger of sounding a little too unctuous and so will leave you to judge the piece for yourselves. It is good though.
I think that this was probably the most photographed wall at Upfest 2017. It is certainly one of the best, if not the best, spot at the festival and this time it was given a magnificent makeover by Kobra.
It is a fascinating rendition of John Lennon in the style so typical of Kobra, using geometric shapes and contrasting colours as an overlay to the portrait. As a strong statement in street art, this piece is exceptional, and pretty much stole the show amongst the visiting public. I have only one slight uncertainty about the piece and that is the relevance of John Lennon to Bristol – but perhaps I am being a little parochial about this.
Many of the visitors who came to the festival would not have seen this piece without the cherry-picker parked in front of it, which wasn’t removed until the Monday or Tuesday after the event, which is a real pity.
Since seeing this piece, tmy first by Kobra, I was lucky enough to come across a couple more in Williamsburg, New York, which I hope to post here if I ever get through my growing backlogs.
Make no mistake though the scale and nature of this piece make it a real winner, a stunner and a must-see wall if you happen to visit Bristol, before it goes this July.
There are two artists in Bristol who are performing at the top of their game at the moment, Deamze and Voyder. Deamze consistantly turns out superb wildstyle pieces and absorbs styles and characters into his pieces with ease, but it is Voyder who, in my opinion, is hitting a new level with his work.
This bright collaboration can be found on the wall at the back of the Sofa Project in Old Market. It is so, so good that it really does have to be seen in the flesh. There is a consistent thread of the colour scheme and a diagonal line through both pieces that cuts through the writing, and with which both artists have treated the line as a breaking point in the work – so thought out and skilful.
I would like to focus a little – which is hard to do with two such immense pieces – on Voyder’s half of the collaboration, because I think this is the best piece I have seen from him, ever. The neon line zig-zagging through the Lichtenstein influenced brush strokes is masterful. Look at the shadows and the light that radiates from the neon. Just amazing.
Voyder has mastered his technique, and I don’t quite know where he goes from here. He has just been getting better and better with every piece and I consider him to be the king of writing in Bristol right now. If you don’t agree, just get down and take a close look at this piece. The best collaborative piece of the year so far as far as I am concerned. Love it (just in case you hadn’t figured that yet).
There is a lot to say about this remarkable recent piece by 3Dom in Wilder Street. I found out, while speaking to Alex from Where the Wall, that strictly speaking 3Dom did not have permission to spray the piece. Furthermore he sprayed over one of the landmark pieces left behind by Shalak Attack and Bruno Smokey when they visited Bristol last year.
I get the feeling that 3Dom got away with this misdemeanour on two counts…firstly his status as a local artist and secondly it is quite simply outstanding. The work in my eyes represents quite a departure from the usual wild and weird characters normally associated with his work. Here we see an intricate and beautiful study of floral patterns, shapes and colours, so very different from his previous work.
This is a truly outstanding piece and worth a trip to Wilder Street to grab a look. I noticed via 3Dom’s Insta account that he not so very long ago produced a similar style piece in London. This is the mark of an artist exploring new ideas and expressions, not something all are blessed with. I look forward to maybe seeing more of this stuff, which I understand was freestyled. Bravo!
I guess I am about half way through my posts from Upfest 2016, and I don’t think I will have finished posting them until Upfest 2017! I am becoming overwhelmed by the number of pictures I have in my archive and am not sure how best to share them with you. Less of the rambling writing might be a blessing for you and more shorter posts each day…but that could risk graffiti fatigue, and I wouldn’t want you to be bored with increased posts. I have to say though that this is quite a pleasant conundrum, which would be all the better if I didn’t have to work!
This is a great piece by the magnificent Voyder, who was given two prominent walls for Upfest 2017, Writing his name on this one, and writing ‘Bristol’ on the other. Both were sprayed in the same style. Voyder is certainly one of the most brilliant artists in Bristol, if not the country. His work never ever disappoints, and he is constantly exploring different genres and designs to write his name. So much good stuff coming from him.
For years, I have been marveling at the incredible 3D pavement works created by street artists and shared through digital media. I used to enjoy these, even before I was interested in street art…they are absorbing and technically brilliant.
Until this year, I had never seen a 3D street piece in the flesh, so it was a genuine thrill to see Leon Keer’s work dominating the Tobacco Factory car park.
Leon Keer was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands in 1970, which makes him almost as old as me, which is cool. He is described as a pop-surrealist artist and is known for his canvasses and his 3D street art.
Leon Keer has a brilliant website, which I strongly recommend you take a look at. It features not only his 3D art, but also some of his paintings, which I find rather compelling.
The amazing thing about the 3D art is that it only works from a specific viewpoint. Observed from anywhere else and it looks quite bizarre, as you can see from some of these pictures. This was another highlight from the festival, and something quite different.
This really is an astonishing wall by Kleiner Shames. It is outstanding not only in its sheer scale, but also in the colours and designs incorporated. The mural seems to be telling several stories.I love Kleiner Shames’ work, indeed I have some of it hanging on my walls at home. Rather than string out a laboured description of each photograph I will simply show them below as a series of pictures, taken from left to right of the mural. Simply superb work.