I love the work of I Bee W, but feel a bit guilty that I haven’t posted much of his work – there is no reason for this, I just have a few pieces in my archive that never made it out. This poignant piece from the Cheltenham Paint Festival 2019 was always going to get posted as the subject matter chimes with me.
There is a high-gloss quality about this piece, which is remarkable really as it has been sprayed onto chipboard. The image is a sad tale of the disappearance of wildlife through biodoversity loss and climate change, the two most significant issues facing the planet. A little red-eyed tree frog – a representative of life on earth – is saying ‘Bye then!’ as if its existence is a trivial afterthought. Although quite funny, I find this piece and all it represents very depressing. I never thought I would witness first-hand the tipping point, where slowing or reversing biodiversity loss becomes impossible, but all I see around me is an acceleration towards that eventuality. Big changes are needed urgently if we want a beautiful future.
I love it when it happens, when an unannounced collaboration appears as if by magic. This sensational work from Smak and Hazard is one of those special pieces, and I think they have absolutely smashed it.
Smak has again gone for one of his double burners, where he has cleverly crafted two versions of his name into one piece. If you look carefully, there is one in blue and one in mostly orange. Such an accomplished thing to do from an artist who seems to be at the top of his game at the moment.
Then to Hazard’s fabulous frog, which I have to say has come as a huge surprise because I am more used to seeing her portrait pieces. I am a naturalist by training, and I have always had a bit of a soft spot for amphibians, especially frogs, so this piece really chimes with me.
Everything about this frog is good, the colours and the shading and the light reflecting off the body and the eye. Such an unusual piece to find on the streets of Bristol, but a wholly welcome one. More of this kind of thing please! A great collaboration on Upper York Street, so utterly well worth a look.
When I first saw this piece by Marvin or Marlon it was partially covered by a canopy to protect it from the rain/sun and as a result all I could see was the frog. It wasn’t until I returned the following day that I could see the frog in the context of the whole picture.
This is a very clever stencil, with a black and white section showing a shopping trolley abandoned in a wetland and to the right a contrasting full colour stencil of a tree frog. The picture tells a story of environmental degradation and the beauty of nature that is compromised.
The star of the piece though must be the frog, although my photograph doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Another cracker from Marvin or Marlon at Upfest.
Over the Christmas break I decided to spend a bit of time trawling through my archives of 2018, to see if I might have missed some pieces that deserve a post. This piece by Khoi had been overlooked, probably because I am not familiar with the artist, and rarely see his/her work.
I am guessing that Khoi is an occasional visitor to Bristol, because the artist’s pieces are few and far between, or maybe they are just an occasional writer. This piece was created in January last year and was part of a paint jam with Sled One and Corupt. There is something unusual and rather compelling about the piece, and while perhaps not to everyone’s taste it does have a charm to it.
Not long after Upfest was over, and just as the dust was settling, this wonderful piece from Bristol’s Cheo appeared in North Street Green. It is a very strong piece, and in my view, far superior to the Morph characters he produced for Upfest.
In this piece he has sprayed a couple of very cool frogs appearently chewing the fat and puffing away on a cigar and cigarette. It is an incredibly neat and crisp piece and in my view shows Cheo at his absolute best.
I’m not too sure how long this would have taken him, but it looks like he took care with it. Yet another great piece from the master.
As a naturalist by training, I find it difficult not to be enthralled by these magnificent frogs painted by JXC at Upfest this year. I was lucky enough to see this piece half way through its creation and again on completion.
I met the artist briefly late on the Sunday afternoon while he he was chatting with one of his friends who had been creating a piece nearby.
JXC is a London artist who takes inspiration from popular culture, or so the programme notes say. I’m not too bothered about that, I simply love these frogs and am intrigued with the way he approaches his work. It would appear that he painted this piece using a zonal approach rather than painting one frog, then the other, then the background etc. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but look at the half-finished pieces, and you might get the gist.
JXC has a rather lovely website, and you can read more about the artist here.