In Bristol, one of the most anticipated festivals each year is Upfest, where much of Bedminster turns its attention to a celebration of street art over a long weekend. Upfest is the largest festival of its kind in Europe and attracts artists from all over the globe as well as many closer to home. The last festival was held in 2018. In 2019, the Upfest organisers, Steve and Emma, decided to have a gap year to give all the people involved in the festival a break and prepare for 2020. We all know what happened next…
This year Upfest are hoping to hold a live event in Greville Smyth Park in August, but this looks to be in jeopardy because of the continued likelihood of restrictions due to the Delta variant of COVID-19. However, Upfest have also instigated another initiative called 75 walls in 75 days, which starting on 15 May aims to complete 75 walls by 75 different artists, thus spreading the activity and keeping it appropriately coronavirus-friendly. Although this piece by JXC is not the first to be completed, it is the first that I am posting.
JXC is an outstanding artist whose mastery of the spray can is legendary and his ability to create such fine detail is his trademark. This piece of a fly and his block capital letters and with dents smashed in the wall is absolutely outstanding, and it is difficult to know how he manages to do it. This is real high-end street art at its very best. World-class.
This piece shows not only the incredible skill of the artist, but the willingness of the very best in the game to come to Bristol and participate in Upfest. Look out for more of the 75 over the summer.
I have a feeling that this wonderful collaboration by 3Dom and Epok has been here for a little while, but it is a spot I visit infrequently and so cannot be sure. The wall, underneath Brunel Way is one which I find particularly difficult to photograph, due to the light reflections that encroach from the sides.
On the left is a rather large fly by 3Dom with an urban/industrial landscape on its back. The wings are beautifully crafted and the whole insect nicely proportioned…quite what the story is I am not sure.
The right hand side of the collaboration is a piece of graffiti writing from Epok. I never get tired of his beautifully designed asymmetric writing that seems to combine graphic design and street art so perfectly. This is a fine collaboration from this ASK duo.
Pretty much without exception, all of Laic217’s pieces harbour menace to a greater or lesser extent. Even though much of his work is weird, and he specialises in facial distortions, this one is weirder than most.
The fly is grotesque – a bluebottle of sorts. An interesting thing going on is the ‘fly’ is feeding on what looks like a steaming poo which makes up the numbers 217. I hope this is a joke and not some subconscious self-esteem issue.
Even though the image is quite disgusting, you really have to admire a creature of horror movie proportions wearing a bucket hat with a smiley on it. Acid wins the day. A trippy piece?
These pictures were taken when I had a couple of hours to kill in London after work recently, and I am really pleased with the ground I managed to cover in Camden. Although my sister went to school nearby, and I often drove through the area in my younger days, I haven’t been back for years.
I knew that the area is a favourite for street artists and graffiti artists, but I had no idea about the layout of the streets or what could be found where, so I just started to wander – my favourite thing.
I eventually happened upon this incredible mews, running parallel with one of the busier streets, but hidden away (note – always seek out alley ways and back streets). The reward for my explorations was this magnificent Fanakapan mural of flies (of course the helium balloon type).
This work is exceptional, not only the flies, but the perspective on the walls and shadows cast. A masterpiece and a privilege to find it and photograph it. There were loads of other pieces in this mews and I will in time post about them too.