Some of the collaborations at Upfest 2017 were almost acidental or improvised. Others like this one were calculated and beautifully worked out. The artists, Carleen de Soza (left) and Dreph (right) painted portraits of each other, and in doing so switched colours for the skin tones and background.
I think both artists, who do a lot of portraits fgound it challenging being the subject of the artwork, but the final collaboration was outstanding and eye-catching.
The wall was a difficult one to photograph, because the light managed to shine down the back wall and bleached out the top of the frame. Also there were beams in the way, which didn’t quite fall centrally – probably not the best spot for a collaboration.
This piece was definitely one of the more memorable collaborations at the festival and I guess ther artists were relieved at having the partial cover to protect them from the rain showers.
Annika Pixie has a lightness of touch that brings a spot of magic to her pieces. She is a fine artist and lovely warm person. For half the year she spends her time teaching in Thailand, and her Instagram feed is a constant stream of beaches and sunsets.
This piece for Upfest must have been completed early on the Saturday, because I never got to see her at work, which was a real pity – maybe this year.
There was so much great street art at Upfest 2017, it has been difficult to try and post ass much as I possibly can. This is a lovely piece by Hide2 which was at the Ashton Gate site, and in common with my other posts from there, the piece is not quite complete in these photographs.
On his visit for the festival, he left a nice ‘gift’ in Wilder Street which I wrote about back in August – it seems strange to now only be posting his official Upfest piece.
His work here is absolutely brilliant, both the portrait and writing are sensational.
Without question, watching Arladiss painting this piece was my most joyful experience at Upfest 2017. This was the second piece she worked on in South Street Park during the festival, and I was lucky enough to see her adding the final touches.
The charming portrait of a child appeared to be finished, but Arladiss had other plans. The youthful joy she brings to her paintings of children is complemented with a bit of child-like fun to bring about the final touches.
Arladis held a paintbrush loaded with paint and proceeded to splatter the piece with great gusto. Just watching her do this was an experience. She was so obviously enjoying applying this final touch and was beaming while she did it.
Her sense of fun rubbed off on the few spectators who gathered to see what she was up to and, for a moment we all reverted to a childish state. Her sense of fun is so infectious. I love the piece, and her other Upfest piece, and am thrilled to know that she will be returning for Upfest 2018.
Following directly on from my post of Hannah Adamaszek and Saroj, here is another all female collaboration from last year’s Upfest between Kler and So Free So. Once more I feel lucky to see the work of two more artists relatively unknown to me.
This collaboration works so well with two very different styles using similar colours to create two distinct female portraits. The portrait on the left is by Kler, from Barcelona, where she sprays on the legal walls. A former designer, she now travels widely for street art festivals. Her piece here at Upfest is a triumph.
So Free So is a Swiss graphic designer who also does a lot of street work. She tries to convey emotions in her pieces, and the shadowy eyes and mouth in this work are part of this inner exposure. She has collaborated with Kler on several occasions, and on researching her for this post, it turns out I have seen their work before at Upfest. So Free So’s website is really well worth a look.
It was impossible to ignore this extraordinary face by Rast ot Upfest 2017. Situated on the long hoardings at Ashton Gate, the bright colours and striking face drew you in.
Originally from Spain, Rast has been living in Bristol in 2014. I must say that I have not come across his work before, but surely would lioke to see more of it in the various locations around Bristol that I vsist.
This unusual and rather haunting portrait, on the hoardings in Raleigh Road, is by the amazing Wasp Elder.
Rather than try to write something clever about his style, that I am not over-familiar with, I thought I’d quote his biography straight from the Upfest programme, because it so perfectly describes what is going on in this picture.
‘Wasp Elder paints pictures populated by enigmatic souls and unstressed backgrounds, enticing a sentiment of an obscure journey.
His drawings, paintings and films present an evocative combination of solitary figures, collaged scenes, close-ups, obscured features, and potential catastrophe.’
It is a fine piece and was in stark contrast to the rather more lighthearted pieces on the rest of this hoarding, lending weight to the wonderful diversity of street art. I like this a lot.