4027. Upfest 2021 75×75 (71)

We have been so spoiled this year with the Upfest 75 walls in 75 days event, and in particular with some extraordinary pieces by Irony. This is the second Irony piece from the event, and is an absolutely extraordinary portrait.

Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21
Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21

Irony is known for his female portraits that it is difficult to keep your eyes off. The photorealistic detail and depth is beyond astonishing, and puts this artist right up into the world top league alongside other artists like Bubblegum in Barcelona.

Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21
Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21

Looking deep into those eyes, it is impossible to know what the girl is thinking, and as with many of his portraits, her emotions are not easy to read, inert almost, and yet she is wonderfully animated. I think the blue hair is a touch of genius that works so well with this wall and this spot.

Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21
Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21

I made several attempts at photographing this wall, but it is not easy as the immediate front yard has become a bit of a building site and there are two rather unhelpful black wheely bins that are totally in the way most of the time.

In my view, this is one of the best pieces to appear in Bristol in 2021.

3971. Alexandra Parade, Weston-super-Mare

Wouldn’t it be great if Irony painted more often in the west of England… oh, hang on a minute he seems to be turning up everywhere at the moment, something surely to be celebrated. Maybe we could tempt him to move to Bristol and treat us with his work more often, that would be good.

Irony, Alexandra Parade, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021
Irony, Alexandra Parade, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021

This magnificent cockerel piece above Sultan’s Kebab House is as brilliant as it is unexpected. What? Who? Why? The piece bursts out of the ordinariness of its surroundings on a bright yellow background and demands attention. What a fabulous addition to this seaside town, known for its street art culture generated mainly by JPS and augmented by Banksy’s ‘Dismaland’ exhibition from a few years ago.

Irony, Alexandra Parade, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021
Irony, Alexandra Parade, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021

The piece is part of an event orchestrated by Upfest for the town, more information taken from the Upfest website is as follows:

Europe’s biggest street art festival is coming to Weston this summer.

Upfest will join forces with Weston Town Council, local artists and organisations including Culture Weston to create a series of murals on buildings across the seaside town this month.

Up-and-coming local artists from Weston, as well as artists from further afield, will be taking part in the project.

They will paint 10 different murals over 10 days, mainly focused in and around the town centre.

The initiative has been funded with a £20,000 grant from the town council.

There will not be a set theme, with artists being asked to come up with their own designs.

The murals will form part of a permanent trail around the town, and it is hoped this will help to bring people into Weston. A shortlist of artists for the project is now being drawn up.

Of course, 10 walls in 10 days is going to be a bit of a challenge for me to record, living a little bit away and only visiting occasionally, but I will try my best.

Irony, Alexandra Parade, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021
Irony, Alexandra Parade, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021

I think that this piece, more than any other, perfectly demonstrates how a piece of urban art, free for all to enjoy, can lift the spirits of a place, create a sense of pride and identity and drive inward investment. A perfect win win situation.

Irony is a genius.

3776. Upfest 2021 75×75 (8)

What an absolute beauty from Irony. I want this post to be about the outstanding art and not the difficult light conditions, so I will get my apology in early. The sun was bright and behind the wall, so the artwork is a little on the dark side. This wall needs to be photographed on a dull day probably to get the full weight and beauty of the piece.

Irony, Greville Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Irony, Greville Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

Irony is known for his incredibly detailed high-end murals and has appeared at many festivals around the UK, but he also paints walls all over London and he is far from a ‘pop star’ celebrity, preferring to keep his anonymity as far as that is possible. He is a modest talent.

Irony, Greville Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Irony, Greville Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

These giant rooftop pigeons, painted on the rear wall of The Hen and Chicken, are close to perfect. Their fluffed up ruffles so accurately portrayed and their general demeanour is so life-like. Irony has gifted Bristol yet another classic piece. But one that you have to look out for as it could easily be missed.

Irony, Greville Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Irony, Greville Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

Upfest has definitely triumphed this year with its 75×75 event, and this is only the eighth one I have posted… so much more to come.

2905. Shoreditch, London

Continuing with a trip I took to Shoreditch, London back in November 2018 when I was lucky enough to come across this magnificent and rather dark halloween (I presume) fox by Irony at the Allen Gardens spot.

Irony, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
Irony, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

Irony’s work is nearly always breathtaking and I have yet to see a ‘dud’ from this artist. This chilling scene is of a fox (and possibly several other creatures of the night) clutching a severed arm in its mouth the hand of which is holding a hot dog. It is clever how the whole atmospheric piece has been achieved using only a few green, brown and black tones. Weird and wonderful.

2702. Nomadic Community Garden, London (3)

The Nomadic Community Garden just off Brick Lane is an extraordinary place. A labyrinth of sheds and raised beds made from old railway sleepers. It is kind of untidy but un an organised way. At the far end of the garden is a large wall and it is covered in ‘high-end’ pieces from established artists.

Irony, Nomadic Community Garden, London, November 2018
Irony, Nomadic Community Garden, London, November 2018

I think I read somewhere that the garden was being cleared out. I’m not sure if this is the case, but it would be a pity. Cities need these eccentric spaces, without them we are all impoverished.

This fabulous piece is by Irony, whose work really is unparalleled. The mural was painted as part of the Meeting of Styles street art festival in May 2018. So, so cool.

2643. Cheltenham 2018 (9)

When they (whoever they are) created Irony, they certainly bundled up an enormous amount of talent into one person. This magnificent portrait piece was painted by Irony for the Cheltenham Paint Festival in 2018, but luckily for everyone who lives in or visits the town, it is still there for all to see.

Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

I had seen this piece many times on Instagram, but to see it ‘in the flesh; is another experience altogether. It is breathtaking. I don’t know the backstory to this piece, if even there is one, but it really is special.

Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

It is a pity that we don’t get to see much of Irony’s work here in the West of England, but I guess we have Upfest and the Cheltenham Paint Festival to lure him out of London from time to time.

 

 

2564. Cheltenham 2019 (19)

You just know when you are looking at a really special piece, and this chihuahua howling in the moon by Irony is an absolute blinder from this year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival.

Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

Thankfully I decided to visit the festival on the Friday and the Sunday and so managed to catch Irony while he was putting the finishing touches to the piece. At least this time I knew who he was, having seen him paint his extraordinary ‘self-portrait’ piece in Bristol earlier this year.

Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

When I first saw the mural I thaought it was a wolf, but it just didn’t look right, and I know that Irony is far too good an artist to have muffed it. I knew it was a dog, but I didn’t know what kind until I saw Irony’s Instagram feed.

Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

Before enjoting the rest of the pictures of this masterpiece I feel I should explain why the pictures feel so squeezed and the angles are all wrong. Of course, the row end wall faces onto a narrow back lane and so it is virtually impossible to get a long shot of the piece. The best view would be from a garden opposite (on a ladder or something like that).

Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

The moon is superb and almost feels like it is emmitting light. Without doubt a major triumph of the Cheltenham Paint Festival 2019.

Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
Irony, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

 

 

 

 

2377. Greville Road (8)

Some pieces are good, others, very good, and just ocassionally you get lucky enough to see something outstanding. This stunning piece ‘self-portrait 2019’ is by Irony and has been 10 years in the making, after he created his first screen print in 2009 with a version of this work.

Irony, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019
Irony, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019

I managed to have a quick chat with Irony as he was painting it, but at the time I didn’t know who he was, nor did I recognise his style (obviously not from round these parts). I asked him who he was, but he said I’d have to wait until he’d finished before he would reveal who he was. Fair do’s I suppose, although perhaps I should have been a little more attentive to the line ups for Upfest’s Summer Editions, which might have given me a clue.

Irony, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019
Irony, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019

The concept of a piece of art creating itself is a tried and tested theme, but rarely is it executed with such passion, skill and emotion. This piece is awe-inspiring and would sit comfortably in the company of any of the great Italian renaissance artists. I can imagine this piece adorning the wall of a side chapel of any of the great Italian cathedrals (although I think the Catholic church might have a word or to to say about that).

Irony, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019
Irony, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019

This is not my favourite wall to photograph, because there is a wide expanse of white light behind it. If I were a proper photographer I would be able to accommodate for that, but I am just a ‘point and shooter’.

Irony, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019
Irony, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019

The closer you get to this picture, the more beautiful the angel becomes. It really is quite incredible that such a fine piece can be created with spray cans. If I could be just one tenth as good as this, I would be happy. Many years of hard graft and study ahead of me, but I fear I lack the raw talent bit that Irony has in spades. A brilliant piece, worth a trip to see it.

1257. Upfest 2017 (121)

It has been a little while since I last posted anything from Upfest 2017. I would guess I am about half way through my archive of photographs but am unlikely to write up every piece from the festival before this year’s festival begins. C’est la vie.

Boe and Irony, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Boe and Irony, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This piece is a hugely entertaining and bold work from Boe and Irony, who worked so well together at Upfest 2016 with their cat and mouse work on the side of a residential building just off North Street.

Boe and Irony, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Boe and Irony, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

Gulls are a very common sight in Bristol, and this huge portrait of a gull peering around the corner so perfectly captures the cheeky nature of these birds, and is in keeping with the City.

Boe and Irony, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Boe and Irony, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

The artists took a while to complete the piece and it wasn’t actually until a few days after the festival that it was completed. It was so utterly worth the waiting though, this was one of the highlights of Upfest 2017, a real triumph. I hope the artists will be back this year to give us yet another mouth watering morsel.

1143. Camden Town, London

On a recent trip to Camden Town, I visited a few of the streets I had been to a year previously. This particular hot spot for street art was rather annoyingly obstructed by this hoarding, which rendered any photography pretty useless, along the narrow passage where the best walls are. However, it was an ill wind really, as the hoarding has become the canvass for this fine and rather haunting piece by Irony.

Irony, Camden Town, London, November 2017
Irony, Camden Town, London, November 2017

I could tell, the minute I saw this portrait piece, that is was by an established and talented artist, but it wasn’t until I got home and properly looked at the pictures (and started seeing the image appearing on Instagram) that I realised it was by Irony. I am guessing that it is a reasonably new piece, and feel quite lucky to have ‘bumped into it’.