Well, I have taken a couple of weeks off from Thursday doors for two key reasons. 1) I had run out of door pictures and 2) is irrelevant because of 1).
Last Sunday I found myself in London with some time to kill, so I took off down to Shoreditch to hunt down some street art. Over the course of 4 hours or so, I took just shy of 500 pictures and walked 15 miles. While I was there I managed to find a few doors, and I am sharing the first of them here. There is, rather predictably, a strong street/graffiti art connection.
These doors are in a street heavily patronised by wheatpasters – it is worth taking a moment to look at the artworks as there is a real spectrum from poor to excellent.
There is hardly a square inch of un-pasted door/wall and looking at it is almost like looking at an archeological dig, with different eras exposed. To many this is just a mess, to me it is individual expression in a space where freedom is tolerated/permitted.
I think this one from qWeRT goes back to roughly the time of Upfest 2018 and is pasted on a door, along with multiple other wheatpastes – you can see one from Losthills just to the left – that is opposite one of the Upfest feature walls.
I am always happy finding qWeRT wheatpastes, it is a little bit of a game to hunt them down, and I am pretty safe in the knowledge that there are others in Bristol that I have yet to find. The googly-eyed character is in loving mode in this piece.
About Ponny is an artist I had not come across before Upfest 2018 and what a wonderful set of wheatpastes he left for us to admire this year. This is the second one I have posted, and like the first it best described as poignant.
There is a sadness, but also a really touching humanity about this piece, and the tones used for the stencil work give the whole wheatpaste a sombre and yet very powerful presence. I can honestly say that About Ponny was probably my favourite discovery of Upfest 2018 – now I just need to travel around a bit to find more of his great work.
There were a few wheatpasters at Upfest this year that were completely new to me, including Mini Gabi who created this fun piece, I think on North Street. Having done just a little bit of research on Mini Gabi, she certainly seems to be well established and has an excellent website and biography that you can find here.
I like the Sex Pistols reference with a soft take on it with the words ‘I just want to be me’. There are some similarities with Phoebe New York, not so much in style, but more in creating a fictional character to be pasted about the place. Another similarity is in the inclusion of contemporary quotes or short phrases. The artist is actually called Gabi Almeida, but for this blog I shall be calling her Mini Gabi, because it makes sense to me. There might be more of these to follow.
It feels like if I keep my eyes open long enough and scour each inch of Bristol I will keep finding paste ups by qWeRT. This right royal googly-eyed character is in City Road only a few metres away from another paste up by the same artist from last year.
As well as admiring the original ideas and artwork that qWeRT puts into these wheatpastes I get a great amount of pleasure each time I find one. I think that the artist only visits Bristol about once a year, but it takes me that long to find many of these little characters, and some I never find no matter how hard I look. Come back soon.
I was moved to dig out this old wheatpaste from my archives when I saw the wonderful Upfest 10th anniversary balloons that had been pasted up all over Bedminster by D7606. It can happen a lot when you have so many unpublished photographs, and I regularly scour my files to see if there are anty gems that I may have overlooked…well this was one of them.
This blue balloon with the face of Elizabeth Taylor was pasted up over my absolute favourite piece of street art in Bristol and one that inspired me to write this blog, by JPS. Such a great wall and a clever place for D7606 to position his balloon. I am pleased to bring the pictures out of archive.
One of the privileges that wheatpasters have is that they can spend lots of time in the studio conceiving and preparing their work, and only a few minutes pasting it up. That is not to say it is in any inferior to any other kind of street art, it is just different and requires different skill sets. Perhaps the most challenging part is finding the exact right spot to paste a piece up, and in this instance, Face the Strange has nailed it with this large expanse of red brick wall.
The piece itself is a clever reworking of Waddington’s Cluedo in which each of the characters have been given the Face the Strange treatment and have heads relating to their names. I really rather like this concept piece as did many other visitors to the festival who were gathered round it. This artist’s name says it all really.