Always, always take a walk down that back street, you never know what you might see. I recently did just that in a small road that leads into Dean Lane and was rewarded with this wonderful wheatpaste by qWeRT.
This paste up is framed so expertly it is as if the space was created for it. I think this was put up on a reasonably recent trip to Bristol by qWeRT and is one of several characters dotted about the place. You will know that I love qWeRT’s work and that I am very partial to wheatpaste work generally. Chuffed to bits with stumbling across it.
Wheatpasting is not as popular in Bristol as it is in other parts of the country, so it is a real treat at Upfest, when a (whatever the collective noun for wheatpasters is) descend on the city and cover just about every utility box with paste ups. Foremost among them is Face the Strange.
Most of his work has reasonably everyday scenes of people looking like models from a catalogue but with something weird obscuring their face. Face the Strange was going through a fruit phase during Upfest 2018.
However he is not a ‘one trick pony’ and this fun piece has a hamburger for a head. I love the Burger King packaging rip-off with his name in the ‘sandwich’. Things are good when FtS is in town.
Another intriguing wheatpaste from the fantastic Object…, in one of the tunnels of The Bearpit. In this piece, Object… has written a lengthy statement which is wrapped around what looks like a sumo wrestler with a pi symbol tattooed on his chest.
Now I haven’t been able to read the text…that might take a bit of time…and so I’m not too sure what the piece is about, but knowing the artist, I expect politics is involved somewhere along the line. I actually am rather fond of this piece, and am really enjoying Object…’s current penchant for paste ups.
A second pair of magnificent Phoebe New York wheatpastes from my (not so) recent trip to the Big Apple last November. I have always loved her work ever since I first saw some paste ups in Bristol at Upfest 2016. Seeing them in her native New York is just that bit more thrilling.
The first of these is the largest wheatpaste of Phoebe’s that I have seen to date…pretty much life size and stands in a doorway on a side street. A glamorous look for our Phoebe, with the word ART pasted on in individual letters.
The second piece is one of Phoebe’s more normal miniature-sized pieces, with a vibrant yellow costume and striking hat; so very fashionable. This piece has the words ‘be confident’ emblazoned across it.
It would be fun to know whether Phoebe New York comes up with the phrase first and then creates the piece to reflect it, ot adds the phrase once the artwork is completed. Maybe it is a combination of the two. I enjoyed pointing out these wheatpastes when we were in New York to my daughter who shares the artist’s name.
Upfest simply wouldn’t feel the same without all the ‘unofficial’ wheatpasters making their mark along North Street and other parts of town. One of the most notable wheatpasters over the last two years has been Losthills and his Jake the Dog pieces.
This one is a little different from his usual cut outs, and is a full size poster of ‘Jake World’ a parody poster of the recent remake of ‘West World’. Jake plays the lead role (in the original film I think it was played by Yul Brynner), with his face mask revealing electronics behind and confirming his robot status. I love this paste up – once again confirming Losthills as a fun-loving witty artist.
Immediately adjacent to Gnasher’s chimpanzee in Stucley Place there is a door with a couple of wheatpastes on it. The higher of the two is by Face the Strange and features four brightly coloured suited gentlemen with half fruits or vegetables for faces. I am guessing that this has been around for a while. The piece is actually made up of four individual strips.
The lower pasteup is by Codefc featuring one of his characters with a camera head. Both pieces have similar themes and yet the individual style of the artists shines through.
I posted a piece by Codefc from Upfest 2016, but it seems that more recently he has favoured freestyle spraying, judging by his Instagram feed. I enjoy seeing artists moving through different techniques and expressing their work in different ways. This is a nice door.