For a large wall, this one gets fairly frequent facelifts, usually, but not always, linked to Upfest. This time for 75 walls in 75 days, it is the turn of Philth and N4T4, and they have created something rather special.
The two artists are no strangers to collaborating with one another, and indeed my first introduction to their talents was at an Upfest festival a few years back. In this mural, their work integrates really well, assisted by the colour palette both artists are using.
The portrait is by N4T4 and is typical of his work, where the face is composed of a whole load of tiny detailed patterns, in this case floral patterns. It is so clever the way he does this. Not so clever is the terrible photograph. I’ll have to go and take another one.
The extraordinary floral backdrop is by Philth and is surely inspired by William Morris wallpaper designs. Rich and sumptuous, the poppy heads, sunflowers, foxgloves and daisies make for a stunning piece, and it is amazing how powerful the whole effect is, being created with so few colours.
For good measure, topping the mural there is a butterfly which I think is by N4T4. The wing spots give this away as being a peacock butterfly, which again is superbly created using a limited colour palette. This is a joyful and uplifting collaboration that greets motorists on one of the busier roads in Bedminster and thoroughly deserving of its place on this premium wall.
Really, this is one of my favourite pieces from the whole of Upfest 2017, not only because of the quality of work, but because of the cheerful resilience of the artists in persevering with their work in spite if the inclement weather.
A fine collaboration between N4T4 and Philth which really brightened up the walk between North Street and Ashton Gate.
These two artists have painted together at the last three Upfests, and although not a true collaboration, their pieces complement each other perfectly.
I walked past these two a few times, and took my favourite picture of the festival (above) of them cheerfully painting in the rain. Such dedication.
The N4T4 piece on the left is a wonderful example of his portrait style, incorporating colours and shapes which combine to make the whole. A blast of exquisite colour and a stunning face.
Contrast this then with the grey scale portrait by Philth on the right. He is as well known for his floral designs as he is for his portraits and this piece is overflowing with flowers that lift the piece to another level.
I absolutely love this beautiful work by N4T4, and was lucky enough to visit it several times during its creation at Upfest 2016. It is an outstanding piece by an artist who left his mark so memorably at the previous year’s event.
It is always a privilege to see a street artist at work, at least that’s how I feel, and of course, when so many are in one place over two days that privilege is filled to the brim, and some. The eyes in the picture above show the evolution of the work…drafted out on the left and near complete on the right.
The finished work has something about it that I really like. It might be as simple as it is really beautiful and easy to look at, it might be the style, with so much going on within the piece itself, I’m not sure, but I know I love it.
I haven’t seen any of N4T4s work other than the two pieces at Upfest, so it would be great to see him return next year to lighten up the place.
This striking portrait was sprayed by N4T4 during the Upfest 2015 festival. N4T4 is an artist and illustrator from Nuneaton in the UK.
In the artist’s own words:
“I paint portraits using realism as a reference point for more abstract experimentation. The images are built in layers that become ambiguous and open to interpretation from the viewer. I am inspired by aboriginal art and graffiti; aesthetically and conceptually with their self evolved visual languages, dual meanings, temporal quality and its basis in culture, people and environment rather than just commerce.”