1766. Upfest 2018 (60)

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.

Mini Gabi, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Mini Gabi, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

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.

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1755. City Road (8)

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.

qWeRT, City Road, Bristol, September 2018
qWeRT, City Road, Bristol, September 2018

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.

1740. Frogmore Street (8)

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 It can happen a lot when you have so many unpublished photographs, and I regularly scour my files to see if there are anty gems that I may have overlooked…well this was one of them.

D7606, Frogmore Street, Bristol, September 2015
D7606, Frogmore Street, Bristol, September 2015

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.

1736. Upfest 2018 (47)

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.

Face the Strange, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Face the Strange, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

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.

1726. Upper York Street (13)

Whenever qWeRT comes to town there is always an exciting trail of wheatpastes hidden in the back streets of Bristol. I am constantly on a quest to find them, but know there are some I will never find.

qWeRT, Upper York Street, Bristol, August 2018
qWeRT, Upper York Street, Bristol, August 2018

This one is on the pillar of a car park, which adjoins a former church and so is entirely appropriate to its environs. Jesus is rarely depicted in street art, which is peculiar in a way, because in years gone by he has been the subject of countless murals, inside and outside. This is a wonderful piece…a googly eyed Jesus – not something you see every day.

1679. Stokes Croft

Only a few days ago I posted some work by qWeRT in Cortona, Italy that must have been pasted up some years ago, judging by the shift in style (and also the fact that the Italian pieces were signed QWERTY). This is much more what qWeRT’s stuff looks like at the moment.

qWeRT, Stokes Croft, Bristol, July 2018
qWeRT, Stokes Croft, Bristol, July 2018

I love this particular wheatpaste with our googly eyed hero riding a scooter, and seeming so right for this particular area. The door is really quite a messy scrawl of tags, and indeed I think I must have walked past this piece several times before I actually noticed it…it is fairly well camouflaged. Hurrah for qWeRT coming to Bristol and leaving us these little presents dotted about the place.

1672. Cortona, Tuscany, Italy

It is an extraordinary thing to travel to a foreign land and enjoy all that feels exotic and different, to bathe in a culture and history so different from your own. More extraordinary still is to stumble upon the familiar in such a context, but that is exactly what I did on a recent visit to Cortona in Tuscany.

qWeRT, Cortona, Italy, August 2018
qWeRT, Cortona, Italy, August 2018

Of course, while walking through the streets of the town I needed no encouragement to take a peek down the side streets to see what surprises might lurk. I have to say that wheatpastes by qWeRT were not exactly what I had in mind, but that is precisely what I found.

qWeRT, Cortona, Italy, August 2018
qWeRT, Cortona, Italy, August 2018

Altogether I think I discovered five pasteups by this ‘Natural Adventures’ regular, each in a different stage of decay. I would guess that these had been up for a few years, and I find it all rather touching that the civic authorities haver chosen not to take them down.

qWeRT, Cortona, Italy, August 2018
qWeRT, Cortona, Italy, August 2018

What also interests me is that there are copies of the same wheatpastes, but they appear each to have been hand painted separately rather than printed. I admire qWeRT’s choice of destination for these wheatpastes and am thrilled to have inadvertantly found them.

qWeRT, Cortona, Italy, August 2018
qWeRT, Cortona, Italy, August 2018

It also looks like qWeRT has dropped the Y from the signature since pasting these up.