What a cracker! This is an absolutely stunning piece by Dice67, AKA Andy ‘Dice’ Davies, the architect and organiser of the Cheltenham Paint Festival which was held this year on 5-8 September. This colourful piece is a portrait of Debbie Harry and I think is probably the best freehand piece I have seen from Dice67 yet.
I felt it appropriate to start my Cheltenham posts with this piece and I’ll be interweaving more of them into my regular posts over the coming weeks/months.
I have not been to Cheltenham since I was a little kid, and so on this visit I was able to catch up with some of the pieces from last year’s festival too, and they really are rather impressive. Dice67 has tried to find new walls each year of the festival so that the old ones can remain in all their glory alongside the new ones rather than being over-painted. Let’s hope he doesn’t run out of walls!
Back to this piece… it is so beautifully worked, especially the amazing reflections on the glasses, and this is all a far cry from his stencils which was my introduction to his work. There was a festival theme this year which I think was books and in this piece the link is that Debbie Harry will be atending the Cheltenham Book Festival later this year – Dice67 is rather hoping that she’ll be photographed standing next to this portrait of her. A great way to introduce the Cheltenham Paint Festival to Natural Adventures.
I have already posted a very striking Upfest piece by Brighton-based Mazcan but this one slipped a little under my radar until I recently started sorting through another batch of pieces from last year’s festival.
This is a superb work that looks like it has just dropped off the page of a rather dark comic strip book. There is drama and movement in the way the hair sweeps across the portrait… what is going on here? Her eyes give nothing away. Lovely piece.
Deuz is another artist who was at Upfest 2018 who didn’t appear in the Upfest official programme, which is always a bit troublesome for me because I have to do my own research rather than rely on others. Deuz is a French artist who cut his teeth by writing graffiti on the streets of Marseille in the 1990s. He went on to study art and now his work is largely portraits of Africans, his ‘faces’ that were inspired by hip hop culture.
I don’t know who Nina Gabriel is but then again I can’t know everything. I would hazard a guess that she is probably a musician. The nicely worked greyscale piece was in the back yard of the Steam Crane, which since Upfest 2018 looks like it might have changed hands, and these hoardings have since come down, which is a pity.
I’m on a bit of a Lobe fest at the moment, and this magnificent piece was actually the first of hers that I actually became aware of. It was tucked away on the St Agnes side of the M32 roundaboutand really stood out from the crowd.
Once more, her careful use of colours and clever design create what looks at first sight like a simple portrait, but on closer inspection is full of complexity and sophistication. I’m sure that as she works more and more her execution will tighten up, and I am so looking forward to what the next few months will bring from this artist.
Having broken the ice with a recent Lobe piece under Brunel Way, I said that I would trawl up some slightly older pieces by her from my archive and true to my word…
The piece from June this year I have a feeling didn’t last very long, so I was pleased to have managed to capture it. I am a huge fan of her style, a lovely design kept simple using nine colours and shading to die for. The use of orange and pink on the shirt and hat to highlight light and shade is to my mind really clever. Bold and unique, her work is yet another fabulous addition to the vast Bristol spectrum.
It is great to be able to post this piece knowing that I don’t have to credit it with ‘unknown artist’ because thanks to the great investigative powers of Paulh121 I know it to be by Lobe (@lobe_ita). This is one of at least three pieces that I have photographed by Lobe (look out for the others coming soon) and each one of them is a cracker.
Lobe tends to use only a few colours in her work and creates these styalised faces which are typified by the solid bold fills and shadowing. If I were to describe her work I’d probably say that it is like a fusion of Tasha Bee and Kool Hand. I really like this piece, and it is the details I am drawn to, such as the little spike on the white outline to the left of the left eyebrow. I really hope that what we are seeing from Lobe is just the beginning and that there is more to come.
Although I can’t be sure, I think this ephemeral portrait might be the work of Annika Pixie… it certainly has many of the ingredients that are common to her work, the lightness of touch and delicate nature of the subject, but I have not seen her paint many walls like this one.
As I write this, my curiosity got the better of me and I had a look at Annika’s Instagram feed, and sure enough there is a little video of this piece, filmed in only the way she can do such things. I love her touch, which is full of subtlety and magic and in such stark contrast to the macho work one is used to seeing. Nice one Annika.