With the onset of spring, the turnover of art on the concrete walls up at Purdown Battery has noticeably increased. It is amazing just how much the improvement in the weather drives street art activity, and already we have had a bumper year… it could be the best ever year for Bristol street art if things continue like this.
This is a lovely, happy-go-lucky piece from Antikki with all the ingredients for that summer holiday we are all dreaming of. I love Antikki’s illustrative style which could so easily adorn the pages of a children’s picture book. There is a lot to admire in this beach scene, the stylised figure in particular. Superb energetic and fun work.
At the far end of the bowl in the skate park is this fantastic illustration piece by Squinty. I’ve not come across the artist before, but this is a real beauty in a style that you don’t see in Bristol all that often.
In his Instagram profile, Squinty describes himself as an artist, film maker, graffiti artist and illustrator. He describes this piece as a quick throw up. How can that be? This is a lovely piece and I’d love to see a whole ton more from the artist.
Every now and then, a significant piece of street art is created, one that becomes a landmark or a statement in the locality. This commission piece, Turbo Island’s coral reef, by Alex Lucas is one of those significant works. Turbo Island is a little patch of green created by a fork in the main road with Jamaica Street, directly opposite.
The piece was completed on Christmas Eve 2017 and took some six weeks to complete. I am not entirely sure who the commission was from, but I think it is the company who own the building/offices.
Alex is steadily brightening up Bristol building by building and I think that this is one of her finest yet. Of course, my marine biology background means that I am particularly fond of this one.
The detail on the piece is typical of Alex’s work and each of the creatures is crammed with its own character from the rather grumpy shark at the top of the piece to the little hermit crab at the bottom right.
This is a piece that can be studied over a long while, making little discoveries each time you look at it. A huge asset to the area and worth hunting down if you happen to be visiting Bristol. Thank you Alex Lucas!
I love seeing the work of Alex Lucas wherever it crops up, but it is especially nice to see her work at Upfest, when it isn’t tied to a commission. Alex Lucas has made a huge impression on the city of Bristol and her work is dotted all around the city – I have featured much of it on this blog.
This piece was a bit tucked away, and incredibly difficult to photograph with the crowds and the lighting. Even so, it is possible to see that this is a classy illustration of a cat who is thinking about a mouse. Yum.
This is a different kind of piece for upfest, by Bristol-based Italian-English illustrator Lisa Rose. In her website biography, she says the following: Inspired by a million things but especially femme experiences and bodies, sexuality, and empowerment. It says it all really. Her website illustrations are very interesting and worth a look.
It is an unusual piece for a street art festival and represents the crossover between design/illustration and street work. Her strong lines and solid fill make this piece appear to be almost like a digital creation. This piece with the third eye is similar to one on her website and I would guess it a theme she explores. I didn’t get a chance to see her at the festival, but will look out for her if she is there in 2018.
At upfest many of the artists get paired up on neighbouring boards, and because of the portrait nature of these it is much easier for me to post about them as a pair. These two pieces are by Lea Gudrich and Dan Pritchard.
Lea Gudrich is German-based artist living in Cologne. This piece was hashtagged with ‘childhood memories’ on her instagram account so I guess there is a story there. Most of the work she produces features wildlife largely in black and white with some incorporation of bright colours. Beautiful illustrations mostly.
Dan Pritchard, by contrast is an illustrator with a rather more brash and colourful style. Based in Bristol, his Upfest profile says his work is inspired by humour found in the British way of life, the hum drum of the 9-5 commute and the films and television of the 80s and 90s. I guess this one is drawn directly from ‘Ghostbusters’.
This was one of my favourite pieces of the South Street Park site at Upfest 2017. The picture of a Pirate is beautifully illustrated and has all the nostalgic feel of a children’s picture book. I would willingly pick up and read a book with pictures such as this. It tells its own story, for example, the writing on the pirate’s knuckles spells ‘FREE’…
The work is by Rame13 an Italian artist born in Pisa. She has been painting from an early age, but has only been producing street art since 2016, so a relative newcomer. Her Facebook page confirms what I already know…that I love her style, and the kind of work she produces, it is well worth a quick look.
Looking at the work in progress, it is interesting to see how she works in blocks, rather than in layers, like spray artists tend to do. Indeed it is refreshing to see street artists working without spray cans – there were a few at Upfest this year.
I think it would be easy for me to become a big fan – I hope she returns next year. Lovely work.
I absolutely love doing this, for so many reasons, but it is particularly gratifying that on the same day I write a post about an Upfest artist new to me I find a street piece by the same artist. It is like having two Christmases at once. This is what happened with this beautiful piece by Aintzane Crucet.
It can be found on the Where the Wall curated wall in Wilder Street and was sprayed in the immediate aftermath of Upfest. It would seem that Deamze helped out with the spot, as he has a piece just to the right (to follow).
I could seriously fall in love with this illustrator’s work. It is very different from much of the stuff we see in Bristol, and has a welcoming, soft appearance together with a complex story. A fox tail attached to what looks like a duck-billed platypus, a keyhole on the girl’s forehead and a teapot. What is going on? Happy days.
Tucked away in a shady corner of North Street Green was this beautiful piece by Aintzane Crucet, a Spanish Illustrator who was born in Motril (Granada) and now lives in Malaga. There is a fairytale quality to this work which would sit comfortably in any children’s library.
Other than the Upfest programme notes, there is very little information about this young artist who I would guess is at the beginning of her career. I’m pleased she made the journey to Bristol.
This wonderful piece appeared a few days after Upfest had ended, and I guess Feoflip decided to stick around and improve some bare walls. I really love this piece, the soft pastel colours give the piece the look of an illustration. The character looks like it has just walked off the pages of a children’s picture book. I would love to read that story.
Feoflip was unknown to me before Upfest, but I have now seen several of his pieces all over Bristol, and will be sharing them over the coming weeks. He is fast becoming one of my favourite artists. I love the combination of organic and mechanical, it works very well, as with his piece at Ashton Gate School.
The more observant reader may also notice the Gregos mask just to the left of this piece which I wrote about last year.