When an artist augments another’s work and it is done well it is both skilful and diplomatic. In this instance, 3Dom has added a fantasy abstract seascape to a remarkable turtle originally painted by Louis Masai a couple of years back.
3Dom seems to have undergone something of an epiphany recently and is creating some really interesting abstract work at the moment, fantasy scenes that feel familiar but that are utterly imaginary, like the sea bed here. I believe that 3Dom’s work has in some way added to Louis Masai’s work in a sensitive and dignified way. Definitely a case of the sum of the parts being greater than the individual components. Brilliant new work, giving a new lease of life to the wall.
I thought I’d kick off Upfest 2018 with one of the highlight walls of the festival which speaks volumes to me (a marine biologist by training), and really brightened things up.
One of the less celebrated, but nonetheless special, walls at Upfest is this side street, Mount Pleasant Terrace, just off North Street. Previous occupiers of this wall have been Sokar Uno (2016) and My Dog Sighs and Snub 23 (2017), so it has a great pedigree. This year the mural went big, spreading beyond the first floor and covering the entire end of row wall.
At first glance it might not be obvious that this is a Louis Masai piece, but a closer inspection gives away some of the tell tale signs, such as a patchwork turtle, and of course a signature!
I was pretty spaced out at the festival, absorbing so much visual information but not really seeing things right in front of me – sensory overload if you like. I didn’t take a proper look at the wall until the scaffolding was down a couple of days later and then it hit me, this is a brilliant piece by Louis Masai.
There is so much to look at in this coral reef scene, but of course it comes with an environmental message, and there floating around the reef are a couple of Tesco bags, which once seen can’t be unseen.
I love the way that he entered into the spirit of the Simpsons theme of the festival and presented us with a cartoon mutant fish with three eyes gawkily cruising across the reef. Some serious messages interspersed with a bit of fun. A great piece to start with. Hats off to Louis Masai.
I think I have been saving this one up for a while, because I like to hold back some of the really good pieces I come across. This is of course by Louis Masai and has been around for about eighteen months or so I would think.
Is is on a wall in Stapleton road, opposite the Andy Council spider. Louis Masai’s work is at the forefront of using street art to highlight the danger our magnificent wildlife faces, and he does it in an engaging and welcoming way. He is not protesting, rather he is educating.
This pangolin piece I think is my favourite of his in Bristol, probably because I am very fond of these bizarre creatures, and he has captured it in an interesting pose.
The patchwork quilt effect that Louis Masai achieves in his work is quite remarkable, and you could spend hours just looking at the detail in each section of the ‘material’. In this particular piece, the pebble dash wall adds another level of texture to the overall work…although it must be a nightmare to spray on. All good. Now to save the planet.
It isn’t too long ago that I posted about a piece on this shutter by Telmo Miel, which had been from the time of Upfest 2015. Now, with only days to go until Upfest 2017, I am posting about a piece from 2016. This is the problem with shutters – it is all about timing.
I had no idea that this piece was even here, but happened to pass by just when the shutter was down. What luck! This is a gorgeous sewing bumble bee by the irrepressible Louis Masai. His work with the natural world is a beacon of hope for us all, and I can’t imagine who wouldn’t be touched by his conservation themed work.
‘One love’ he signs it – setting off an earworm which will take a while to shake off. A great find, and fun sharing it.
The light was fading fast by the time I got to this wall. Had I known of its existence I would probably have tried to get to it earlier and benefit from better light. One of the pitfalls of wandering around aimlessly I suppose. All the pictures have been adjusted to make them less gloomy, but they really don’t convey the magnificence of this collaboration.
Louis Masai and Fanakapan, two of the best street artists in the UK right now, collaborated to paint this wall as part of the Meeting of Styles, London event in May 2016.
The patchwork style of Louis Masai and the helium balloon chrome style of Fanakapan work surprisingly well together and when the subject matter is wildlife conservation, what it there not to like about this piece?
There is a very good piece by London Calling which shows the collaboration at work, in rather sunnier conditions than when I went to visit, which is well worth a gander.
The theme for the event was ‘absolute freedom’ and this piece is entitled ‘Freedom?’. This was a pure joy for me at the end of a very long walk in Shoreditch…the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
It is always great to see one of Louis Masai’s works close up, and this is no exception. I have actually visited this work several times recently, but the pictures have not been too good, mainly because of the shadows cast onto the wall from the tree in front of it. Hwever I got there in the end on an overcast day.
The messages that Louis Masai brings to his work chime for me, and I like the way he draws attention to some of the world’s more pressing issues relating to the environment and wildlife. To do so with such brilliant artwork is a rare talent. I hope his work turns a few heads and perhaps encourages people to take action, in whatever form that might take.
Louis Masai has produced dozens of these animal quilt pieces recently, and they seem to work so well, bringing together the organic and inorganic and injecting life into them. This particular piece is well worth a look, and can be found just on the edge of St Werburghs at the end of Mina Road.
Without question, one of the highlights of this year’s Upfest was this magnificent mural by the fabulous Louis Masai. His works are nearly always highlight threats to the environment or endangered species and on that ticket alone he ranks highly in my own personal favourite artists.
His recent murals have featured animals painted with a patchwork quilt kind of effect, and in this case the rhinoceros is being stitched together by a honey bee and a bumble bee.
Louis Masai, Redpoint, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Louis Masai, Redpoint, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
It is difficult not to be impressed with this work, and not surprisingly Louis Masai’s status in the street art world has grown in the last year or two.
Definitely, definitely in my top five pieces from this year’s festival. It is a pity that it is slightly off the beaten track as many visitors to Upfest will have missed it. The piece is on the Redpoint Bristol Climbing Centre on Winterstoke Road.
It would be great if he could return next year, although I’m not sure he could better this one.
It recently occurred to me that I am going to have to work through my backlog of Upfest 2015 pieces, because it will not be too long before they get replaced during the 2016 extravaganza and appear a little out of date. July 23-25 will see an influx of 300 artists showing off their talent, and I have to say I can’t wait. Among them will be Louis Masai, a London based artist who is renowned for his beautiful animal works.
Louis Masai gained an art degree from Falmouth in Cornwall, and has been living in London since 2010. More about him from his own website. This is a beautiful picture of two macaws (I seem to have posted a lot of these lately) and a clear and simple message that they belong in the wild and not in cages. I can go with that. His work is outstanding and his presence in Bristol this year will be a real bonus.