The pavilion in Cheltenham is an absolutely perfect place for long wall pieces and collaborations. Set on the edge of a football field, the building plays host to some of the most memorable pieces from the Cheltenham Paint Festival over the last few years. This year, Smak and The Art of Sok painted this awesome collaboration.
To the left is a remarkably tight piece of wildstyle writing from Smak. The sensational colour scheme combined with a crisp design, delineated with white and black borders, contribute to an outstanding eye-fest of colour and form, clearly the work of a super-talented graffiti writer.
I haven’t come across The Art of Sok before, but I am guessing from the dragon on the character’s chest that there is a Welsh connection. The piece itself is outstanding, so clean and crisp, full of character and movement. The blocked-out colours are very stylised, presenting a highly designed feel to the work. Overall, this is a superb and compelling collaboration. Bravo!
I was not aware of Eyesaw until Upfest this year, where he painted at least two and possibly three pieces over the festival period. I have not posted those yet, but this piece from the subsequent Cheltenham Paint Festival, is typical of his style.
Eyesaw’s works are painted with the colours and blur of 3D pictures, and to date I haven’t tested them with the blue and red specs that you get from time to time, because I haven’t got any (note to self – get some 3D specs). This one is of a tiger flexing its muscles. The designs are clever, but are slightly lost on me without knowing for certain that they work.
One of the delights of street art festivals is that they introduce you to a whole bunch of artists you haven’t encountered before and new styles and ideas, which is most refreshing. This piece is by Dawn, who is a bespoke signwriter based in the Cheltenham/Gloucester area.
The sign, painted in the backyard of the Two Pigs Club, is beautifully crafted and contains all the hallmarks of a skilled sign writer. It is funny, but the cross-over from signwriting to street art is not as straightforward as one might think, but Dawn has made a great job of it here.
I always feel a little surprised when I see some Elvs graffiti writing that isn’t in his usual highly elaborate and cryptic style, and it demonstrates what a great artist he is that he can switch it up so dramatically, presenting a very different style of writing here.
The writing is in large block letters, once again seeing the use of pink and blue – a superb combination and contrast between the letters and the cloudburst background. Although the wizard character feels familiar, I don’t know who it is. I’ll be back in a moment after a pause to Google…
…no luck I’m afraid. Perhaps someone out there can let me know.
This is a great piece from a superb artist whose versatility is powerful.
This photograph was one of the last to be taken on my old camera before it broke (I dropped it). This is a good thing, because I am not so pleased with the replacement camera I bought. The collaboration came only a few weeks after DC Guts and Jimmer Willmott shared a board at Upfest 22.
When these two get together, something crazy and imaginative always happens, and this colour burst shows off the work of two creative talents. To the left, Jimmer Willmott’s character, wearing a Charlie Brown t-shirt, has elements of Mr Potato Head about it and is full of fun. To the right, Guts presents a face made up of constituent components, with the word ‘TWINS’ written in the middle. Are we to believe that these two creations are twins? I can see the likeness.
I have only once before come across Madderdoit, and that was a column stencil piece under Brunel Way in Bristol, so it was good to see a couple more pieces by the artist in the skate park for the Cheltenham Paint Festival, of which this is one.
The kid sitting among a bunch of spray cans reminds me a little of an early Dice67 piece, and is nicely done. The brightly sprayed heart is also a nice touch, without which the whole thing would be duller. I like the spread of spray cans, but would have created two or three stencils for these and perhaps coloured the tops – but there I go again nit-picking. This is a nice fresh stencil from Madderdoit.
One of my favourite Bristol artists is Pelmo. His work is usually well thought out and is about so much more than the artwork, often there are messages of love, affection and care with the relationships between characters. In this unusual piece, there are no characters, but a very strong climate message.
Having worked in environmental communications for twenty years, some of it on climate change, I have seen many images like this one, and they are not uncommon. What is different here is that it is not a corporate ‘explainer’ but a heartfelt warning. Pelmo has captured the jeopardy of failing to act in a gentle, but effective way. I could look at this piece for a long time, it chimes for me and has a serene quality to it. Great work from Pelmo.
There is a very strong relationship between street art and tattoo art, for example, some of Bristol’s best street artists; 3Dom, Sepr and Chill, among others, are also tattoo artists. So it is no surprise to learn that Helen Harper, who painted this gorgeous lion at the Cheltenham Paint Festival is also a tattoo artist.
There are three elements to this piece that work nicely together. The black background has some swirly patterning, and the lion’s face is painted in a greyscale that works well with the background. Encircling the lion’s face is a circular burst of colour, radiating outwards. This is the first piece that I have seen by Helen Harper, but I look forward to seeing more in the future.
Even though Aspire no longer lives in Bristol, I have managed to come across some of his work this year, which is a joyful thing. Of all the artists that have left Bristol in recent years, I miss his work (and that of Kleiner Shames) the most. Thank goodness for festivals such as Upfest and the Cheltenham Paint Festival, which have encouraged Aspire to leave London and share his work in the provinces.
This piece is an absolute belter, with a beautiful Robin, set alongside some silver birch trees and weirdly a bottle of sun spray. I’m not quite sure I get the significance of the plastic bottle, but it certainly sets up an interesting juxtaposition in the piece. As always the whole thing is superbly crafted, and Aspire’s pixelated sections perform the job of a signature. Top work from Aspire.
You might recall that I posted a piece by Korp only a few days ago of his Upfest piece. Here he is again with another fine ‘worm’ character portrait, this time from the Cheltenham Paint Festival.
The character in greyscale with some pink elements is rather cute, if that is the right word, peering from the boarding out at viewers, feathers either side of its face. What Korp does really effectively is create shadows with different shades of paint, to create depth in the face, all of which is done with sharp lines and great solid fills. This is another fine festival piece from Korp.