One of the first large pieces I saw at Upfest 2017 was this fabulously pink ice cream delight from Buff Monster on the side of the Salvation Army building which has played host to some wonderful work in previous festivals.
There seems to be quite a big thing for monsters in the street art world, and I guess it relates to having a licence to spray whatever comes from the imagination. There are some great monster artists out there of which Buff Monster is one.
This is a great big piece of fun which has been beautifully sprayed and is a real asset to this part of East Street.
I hadn’t seen any of Buff Monster’s work before this (one of the brilliant aspects of Upfest), but was lucky enough to find a piece subsequently when I was on holiday in New York. It is always great to see something by an artist you are familiar with…comforting.
Just across the road from South Street Park in a school yard the fabulous combination of Paul Monsters and Loch Ness were busy at work. I’m not sure that many people got to see the final piece, which had been slow to finish due to the weather combined with the fact that after Upfest, access to the school yard has been restricted.
Two fine bristol artists who use bright colours in their work, but with very different styles. Paul Monsters works with geometric patterns creating 3D shapes and shadows that draw the eye in to examine in detail what is happening.
Loch Ness, who also uses lots of colour in his work tends to spray monsters or animals with pieces that tell a story.
The whole piece is a major asset for the pupils of the school, who probably don’t appreciate how lucky they are to have such a beautiful piece adorning this playground building. I got lucky, and managed to take these pictures when the gates were opened for the contractors to remove a cherry picker (which had been used by Nol in the same yard).
More monsters from NEVERGIVEUP in The Bearpit. Although this one has been around for a while, I am posting it now because I didn’t want to flood the blog with too much of his work at once.
I enjoyed his monster phase and his incredible work rate, however over the winter he seems to have slowed down a little and reverted to spraying bunnies. I am looking forward to seeing what direction he takes in the spring.
There can be few better ways to honour a fellow street artist than to paint an enormous portrait of them, and this is precisely what Ian Phenna did at Upfest 2017. The portrait is of the magnificent Nol, who was himself painting during the festival.
I do not know about Ian Phenna or his work, although his Upfest Biography says that he is a mixed media portrait and figurative artist originally from Liverpool. He has a dramatic approach to portraiture, often with hidden themes…
I really like this piece, and especially like the additional homage to Nol…the inclusion, albeit in greyscale, of one of his little monsters in the bottom right of the portrait. There are stencilled numbers all around the piece, something that Nick Walker likes to do too, but I don’t know the significance of them.
I think the whole thing is called ‘BrizNol’ which I rather like. This is a thoroughly enjoyable piece and one of my favourites from the festival.
Here we have another Bearpit piece by the irrepressible NEVERGIVEUP, whose monsters just keep on giving. In this piece there is an inclusion of the Clifton suspension bridge, but I am not certain that he sprayed this or whether it was a part of an existing mural. Somehow the style doesn’t look like his.
As with all his monsters, NEVERGIVEUP creates a textured effect on the skin using concentric contours, in this case in red and yellow, dotted around the skin of the creature. I always like it when characters are themselves spraying. An archetypal piece from this artist.
I have grown so accustomed to seeing NEVERGIVEUP’s work dominating The Bearpit, that it was a pleasant surprise recently to see one of his monsters turn up in Dean Lane. In the short space of time that he has been living in Bristol, he has really let his presence be known. He is prolific and unappologetic…when he sees a wall he paints it.
I haven’t yet seen his work at the M32 or in Stokes Croft yet, but I guess it is just a matter of time. Another fine monster from this young Polish master.
This is a wall that has required a bit of a makeover, having had a rather tired piece on it for a couple of years now. Of course, who should come along to spruce it up a bit…NEVERGIVEUP, who is becoming a bit of a presence in The Bearpit.
It is another monster to join his previous recent works, and is really rather nicely sprayed. The way he marks the detail using black lines on the underside of the tongue and the surface of the skin of the monster have an illustration quality and is a rather different technique to ones I have seen before. A good piece.