There are many hazards and obstacles to taking street art picures. This was in fact the second visit I had made to photograph this lovely eye by My Dog Sighs (his second Summer Editions piece for Upfest). On the first visit, there was a shadow cast right across the middle of the piece, and in this one I managed to capture a customer at the North Street Standard, and being alone he obviously had to be texting someone to give the illusion that he wasn’t in fact alone… but he was, so there.
The eye is everything you might expect from My Dog Sighs, and is beautifully presented. It would be easy to fall in to the trap of saying that he is a one-trick pony and indeed I know some people who think that, I happen to disagree with that particular assertion. He has certainly nailed his technique for painting eyes, but it doesn’t stop there, he still works on the background and the silhouette in the eye and creates an atmosphere or story individual to each piece. Here he has used some stencils with Japanese characters falling like a digital rain around the eye.
You might spot a slight ‘blemish’ on the eye which is caused by a little vent pipe in the wall – My Dog Sighs has concealed it brilliantly. Well done Upfest for organising yet another triumphant Summer Editions piece.
Everything about this magnificent piece by Dale Grimshaw is awesome except for one thing… the wall. I don’t like this wall. It is the most difficult Upfest wall to photograph, and the only time I have seen it done properly is from a drone looking down. All other photographs are a complete fail.
Dale Grimshaw was invited to do this piece as part of Upfest’s Summer Editions project (in lieu of the festival taking a year out). It is another tribal piece in his campaign to fight for Papua New Guinea. His amazing portraits all have a theme, which is to present ‘the people’ with pride and dignity in where they come from, and he does this with such depth and emotion. I am very, very drawn to his work and am thrilled that he was invited to Bristol to paint here (shame about the wall).
It is possible to get reasonable pictures from the roof of the NatWest bank, but I have never been lucky enough or brave enough to climb the fire escape to do it.
Face paint is a big part of what Dale Grimshaw does with his portraits, which I always feel is a bit like doubling up… a painting of people with paint on their faces… does that make sense? Whether it does or not is immaterial, in my view Dale Grimshaw can do no wrong and I am privileged to have seen this. I only wish I could have seen him working on it and perhaps stopped for a chat.
Mid-way along North Street is a rather nice craft shop called Creative space, and recently Andy Council gave the upper level a fabulous makeover. I think it was part of the Upfest Summer Editions event, which has more than made up for the lack of a full blown festival this year.
The space is not an easy one to paint and I think that Andy Council has made a great job of creating a symmetrical piece over the two windowswith what looks like two Chinese dragons facing off in the middle.
As with all his pieces, if you take a little look closer you can see that it is made up of buildings and architectural features, and around the beasts there is a liberral sprinkling of toadstools. This is a stunning piece (difficult to photograph on account of the bright skies behind) that exemplifies the talents of this most treasured Bristol artist.
Shutters are the pits. I must have walked past this beautiful piece by Shab hundreds of times, but only when the shutter was up, so have never seen it before. I understand it has been there for some years, but I only saw it early on a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago.
I haven’t seen anything from Shab in absolutely ages, so to find this was actually most gratifying. I have always loved his outlined abstract figures and his trademark eyes are always so beautifully done. There were some other shutter pieces here on the front of the North Street restaurant and I will post these in due course. This was like meeting an old friend.
These philosophical musings are a positive force on the streets of Bristol, and #DFTE has introduced an original way of presenting them. The picture frames give a sense of value and permanence to his words which without them would certainly be dismissed as graffiti/tagging.
‘Be good to yourself for no reason’ seems like sound advice to me and surely contributes to the positive mindfulness revolution supporting mental health. Perhaps #DFTE should be sponsored by the NHS to do this work nationally! I like the simple full caps font and slightly random orientation of his letters. From a communications perspective (it is my job after all) we would normally advise against any written communication using full caps as it is significantly more difficult to read, and often comes across as shouting, but the font he uses is soft and works well.
This piece has been lurking in my archives for quite a long time now, but what better time to dig it out than right now? It is of course by the brilliant political commentator John D’oh and was created back in July 2016, and who’d have thought after all this time we’d still be caught up in a Boris Johnson circus?
The Michael referred to in this witty Forrest Gump pastiche would of course be Gove, and surprise, surprise here they both are making headlines in the contest for leadership of the Conservative Party. What a dismal mess this country is in, and what a sad indictment that the leader of our country will be chosen not by the electorate, but by a small number of fee-paying conservatives. There is no hope other than that the appointment of a clown for PM might just bury the Tories for the next 15 years.
It is galling that the mess we are in was not created in the aspiration to make life in the UK better for all, but simply to shore up the division in the Conservative party, and guess what, they F*cked that up good and proper as well.
Well, this picture is a bit on the slant isn’t it? Such was my excitement at just admiring this incredible piece by Loch Ness, my photography skills went to pot. Sorry about that. Loch Ness is a bit of a specialist at these long walls, managing to create a psychadelic journey through an unintelligible story, but a story nonetheless.
I think that there is a bit of a climate change and biodiversity story going on. A bird on a healthy tree to the left seems to be interacting with the central bear character. On the right some buildings and clouds, maybe representing emissions, take the eye to a dead or dying woodland.
I will be forever indebted to Loch Ness for the two hour spray paint lesson he gave me in May 2018. From that he gave me the confidence to buy my own cans and give it a go. My experimenting so far has been tricky – this is a whole lot harder than it looks – but enormous fun. I am mostly getting used to the pressure and the caps and thinking about layers for cutting in. I’m also having fun sketching out drafts and ideas, which from a non-artist is rather fulfilling. Thank you Loch Ness.