2381. Greville Road (9)

Another wonderful piece painted as part of the Upfest Summer Editions celebrations outside the Hen and Chickens. This one is by Upfest stalwart Karl Read. The very large stencil is beautifully proportioned to fit this space and has a serene look about it.

Karl Read, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019
Karl Read, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019

The stencil is interesting because it has some simplicity to it, with large areas of single colours, but also in other parts it has complexity. I have seen Karl Read at work before and he uses large sheets of paper for his stencils that look quite unwieldy, but somehow he makes it all work.

Karl Read, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019
Karl Read, Greville Road, Bristol, July 2019

The jewel in the crown of the piece is the girl’s hair which, if you look closely, is in the style of a Hokusai wave. The result is most effective, and the whole piece a triumph. Karl Read has absolutely nailed this blend of simplicity and complexity. I fully expect him to return for Upfest 2020.

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950. Upfest 2017 (20)

This is a wonderful and photogenic piece by Karl Read, a stencil artist from the south coast who produced another lovely piece at Upfest 2016. A boy dressed as superman wearing converses and flying on a swing is a winning idea, and this piece has movement, tenderness and nostalgia combined in equal measure.

Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I don’t know how he put up with the tiny space he had to work in and the crowds stepping over his kit to get photographs of his work and the adjacent work of Lemak.

Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This was another really striking piece from the festival and has been shared a lot on Instagram over the last week or two. I really rather like it and feel that perhaps it deserved a permanent wall rather than a board, but then I could say that about pretty much everything at the festival. Note for next year…more permanent walls please.

Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

387. Upfest 2016 (31)

I used to play five-a-side football with someone called Karl Read, but it wasn’t this Karl Read. This one is a stencil artist from the South Coast and created this amazing portrait in one of the key locations for Upfest. Last year, the wall was home to Robers Wass’ beautiful fox.

Karl Read, Raleigh Road, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Karl Read, Raleigh Road, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

There is something about the tones and lines that reminds me a lot of Copyright’s work, of which there is quite a lot in the area, and at first I thought it might be one of his, but then I looked closer.

Karl Read, Raleigh Road, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Karl Read, Raleigh Road, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

Once again, one of the real pleasures of being at the festival was to be able to see the artists at work. In this instance, Karl was working with some really large pieces of card that were not entirely cooperating.

Karl Read, Raleigh Road, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Karl Read, Raleigh Road, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

The more observant viewer, and one that gets to this final sentence, might spot a reflection of the author of this post (that’s me) in the glass door in the feature image. Vanity publishing!