As artists develop, they often change their names or identities, and that has happened with Mind Control, who naw goes by the name Mind 49. This kind of name change presents me with a bit of a conundrum. Do I continue my posts referring to the artist under their old name (which makes my whole system of filing and archiving so much easier) or switch to their new name? As you can see from the image captions, I have decided to go with Mind Control’s old name for the time being.
Mind Control has come such a long way, and his latent talent as a teenager is shining through now. This portrait piece in the tunnel is a first-class piece of art, that has a strong fine art feel to it. I have commented before that Mind Control’s work always seems to have an element of menace and I sense that here… the covering of the face and the chain tell you that all is not entirely well here. A fine piece indeed.
I like the work of Mind Control very much, although the theme of his pieces often carry an underlying threat of violence, which I am not so keen on, and this piece in the gloom of St Werburghs tunnel is one of those pieces.
It turns out though, that it is a tribute piece to a young man called Josh Schoolar who died last year, in Manchester. Josh was an activist who had been out to Syria (joining the International Freedom Battalion) to fight against Isis, and this piece is painted from a photograph of Josh from that time.
In his memory, Josh Schoolar’s family set up an annual fund of £300 for an up and coming young street artist, and Mind Control was the first recipient of this award, and painted this tribute piece as a thank you.
I have learned that it is important to understand what lies behind a piece of artwork as well as simply seeing what is in front of you. This is not a violent piece at all, but a fond and heartfelt recognition of a young life lost.
I first encountered Mind Control’s work at Upfest 2017, and since then, the young artist has been improving steadily. Much of his work is themed around animal rights and this piece aligns to what is obviously a strong motivation for the artist. His perseverance and hard work has been rewarded with this Tobacco Factory spot for Upfest’s 75 walls in 75 days event.
The piece itself feels a little bit threatening and menacing with a masked and hooded hunt saboteur set in front of a stark background with barbed wire strung across it. Two foxes feature in the piece, presumably freed or protected by the character. This is a piece full of passion and not a little anger and it comes across in the colours, style and subject matter. Rather different from the more mainstream fare we have been used to seeing from Upfest this year.
A nicely disguised signature on this two-tone piece reveals it to be the work of Mind Control, whose work is becoming more frequent in Bristol, in particular in the St Werburghs area.
There is an element of optical illusion work going on in this piece where the central character appears to be cradling a rabbit, although looking at it another way it might simply be the folds in his jacket. A clever piece from an artist with great ideas and lots of attitude.
I first encountered the work of Mind Control at Upfest 2017 when he was a sixteen-year-old young man. Since then, I have seen pieces every now and again, but especially over the last few months. I had to dig this one out of my July archive and am pleased that I did, because it is the passionate and political piece of an angry young man.
Probably prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement this is a strong message against fascism and shows a hand crushing a swastika, not an emblem you see too often these days, even if there are still large numbers of racists and fascists about. I doff my cap to this young man for this statement.
I have noticed a few pieces by Mind Control appearing in Bristol recently, which is no bad thing. I first encoutered his work back at Upfest 2017 and wrote this post which has a link to a rather good interview with the young lad who was only 16 at the time.
Although he is from the Midlands, I guess that at 19 he has a little more mobility and trips to Bristol might become more frequent. I think I have a couple of other pieces in my archive that I will have to dig out. This is nicely done with a clear message and one that carries huge support with it.
This is a straightforward protest piece calling for the cessation of the badger cull, an unpopular approach to reducing the imfection and impacts of bovine turberculosis. The cull will be reaching its peak this year and then drop off over the coming years. Has it made any difference? We’ll have to wait and see. Have animals suffered? almost certainly. It is a complex disease control problem for which there are limited options.
This great piece which was located at The Rising Sun pub, is by Mind Control who was probably the youngest artist at Upfest this year at a youthful 16. He has been spraying since he was 12 and has already found himself on the festival circuit. A precocious talent indeed, and one to look out for.
Before Upfest this year he was interviewed by Auntie G, you can read what he says on her excellent blog here. The piece itself is ambitious and captivating. I’m not sure I would have guessed it was by a young artist when I first saw it, but now I’m in posession of the facts it does have a naive quality to it. I look forward to seeing more work from Mind Control and hope he returns to Bristol soon.