Just opposite the Tobacco Factory in Raleigh Road Justinks painted this captivating tiger with an interesting twist. He describes his art as surrealism and biorealism, and although I think the latter might be a made up word, it certainly works when explaining this piece.
Justinks is based in Malta and works as a tattoo artist (the crossover between the two disciplines is remarkable), but since 2011 he made the decision to go big and create some large street art pieces – a great decision in my mind. It is difficult to know what to make of the subject of this piece due to its distortion of the familiar, there is no doubting the talent of the artist though. Great work.
There were a great many fabulous paintings of eyes at this year’s Upfest, but I think that this one was probably the finest. It is by an artist called Justinks who gives little away about himself in the programme notes other than to say this:
‘I’m into movemental detailed artwork, I always put the wind element into my pieces and cold colors to show the power of nature.’
I was lucky enough to photograph the artist in action, probably on the Saturday, before the cold colours he speaks of were added. This is a fine work executed brilliantly. I’ll certainly be looking out for Justinks in the future.
Jimmer Wilmott is one of the warmest and most welcoming artists I have met. On the two occasions I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with him he has exuded enthusiasm from every pore, and his rather quirky and fun-loving personality is reflected in his pop surrealist art.
It was great to see him at work at Upfest and to witness one of his ‘canvasses’ come to life – I have seen many of them on Instagram, but none ‘in the flesh’. Seeing the layers and the brush work during its genesis and then the final painting was a privilege. The last time I saw him he had created an eyeball using spray cans at Dean Lane skate park.
I think he got a bit carried away during our conversation and was inviting me to go with him to the Cheltenham street art Festival and paint with him. I had to remind him that I have no artistic talent and a total of 2 hours spraying experience. I am however tempted.
One of the things I admire about street artists is that they tend to have a distinctive style that they carry through all of their work – this becomes more obvious when you group their works together in galleries, which I have started doing with Aspire, 3Dom, Mr Draws, Andy Council and Deamze.
In this case the work of Daz Cat has such a strong expression that even when his work doesn’t feature a cat or a dog, it is still utterly unmistakable – this is one artist who doesn’t need to sign his work.
This piece ‘Haven’t a clue what’s going on!’ is a little unusual and slightly unsettling, but nicely conceived and very nicely executed. I wonder if the sentiment is expressed about the Council’s stance to restrict the street/graffiti art in The Bearpit…of course it might have nothing to do with that at all. Another nice piece from Daz Cat.
Once you get your eye in for a particular artist, it seems that you see their work absolutely everywhere, and so it is with Pekoe. Her work was, until recently, off my radar until I saw a piece at the M32 roundabout. Since then I have found three more pieces dotted about the place, including this one and an Upfest piece.
This interesting work was painted as part of a collaboration which included Mr Sleven and one other. Pekoe appears to be fond of the third eye and its symbolism, as it appears in other work. I am still learning about her work and style, and really look forward to discovering more.
This is not a new piece by Shab, it has been here for months, but it replaces a piece by him that was here before and which I posted in February 2017. It would seem that Shab has the permission of the owners to claim this spot as his own.
I never tire of the abstract form that Shab brings to his work, enjoy the anatomical references he makes in his work, which recently has been the inclusion of an eye. In this piece he includes another eye and also the eye scokets and nasal cavity of a skull.
This is an interesting piece and slightly off the beaten track. One for the locals.
A truly awe-inspiring collaboration from Upfest this year was by the magnificent My Dog Sighs and Snub23. There is so much to like about this piece, starting with the wall itself, which played host to this fabulous piece by Sokar Uno in 2016.
The eye and the water drops which provide the focus for the piece is by My Dog Sighs, and there is a whole story going on in the reflected figure in the eye itself. I am a big fan of his work, and it just seems to be getting better and better.
Snub23 has been to Upfest for the last three years now, and his geometric patterns are becoming more of a feature of his work. You may recall he created similar patterns on the side of the bus at Upfest 2016.
This is an absolutely outstanding collaboration and one that will go down as a highlight of this year’s festival for many visitors, including myself.