Another artist whose work I very much admire and who is no stranger to Upfest is Envol, and he returned to Bristol to paint one of his distinctive pieces just off North Street. I was lucky enough to meet him while he was painting this and he stopped for a while for a great chat. It turns out that he is good friends with Fanakapan, another very talented London artist and one who has also painted at Upfest in the past.
While I managed to photograph the piece as a work in progress, by the time I came back to photograph the final finished piece it had been vandalised, along with several other Upfest murals, by some misguided (and probably ill) idiot. Thankfully the piece was fully restored and is as good as new.
Envol creates these sharp and clean pieces incorporating parts of the body with abstract shapes and patterns, and sometimes disrupting them with white space. They are quite surreal, and at times remind me a little of Giorgio de Chirico fused with Matisse’s cut outs. Beautiful to look at and thought-provoking. This piece is another fabulous contribution to Upfest’s 75×75 event.
In a little side street/yard off Brick Lane there is a derelict area which is a bit of a street art oasis. On the passageway into the area is this magnificent piece by Envol, which is quite different from anything else there.
I have come across Envol a couple of times at Upfest in Bristol, so it was great to see something by him outside of the festival context. His highly designed ‘classical’ pieces are simply presented but nicely framed with strong shapes and colours.
When I first saw this piece I thought it had been dogged at the base of the skull, but on closer inspection and a quick squint at the Artist’s Instagram it seems that this is a deliberate technique that he adopts from time to time. It is a good feeling once again to stumble upon art in unfamiliar surroundings that I am familiar with.
On the long car park wall of The Tobacco Factory one of the most eye-catching pieces is what I would describe as a still life study by the talented Envol. I first became aware of the artist at last year’s Upfest and his style is so very distinct.
There is something rather pleasing about this assemblage of recognisable things, the hand and the Swiss cheese plant leaf together with rather more abstract shapes. The painting draws the eye from one side to the other (in my case from left to right) before settling on the whole.
During the festival this area is a real squeeze, and it can be rather difficult stopping to take pictures without getting nudged in the back or caught up in the tide of human impatience sweeping towards the street food area. Last year’s piece is shown below.
This, slightly unfinished, piece by Envol presents visitors to Upfest with something very different from the usual fare served up. His work is best described by his entry in the Upfest programme:
‘Envol paints realism fused with experimental, Deco era inspired designs and a touch of neoclassicism. His ethereal yet bold compositions are crafted with a mission to delight senses.’
Everything abut this piece oozes class and the style ensures it stands out from the crowd. I don’t know much about the artist, but a quick trawl through Google came up with some magnificent work from this artist.