1842. Upfest 2018 (83)

I remember at Upfest 2017 really loving a piece by Lauren Maria Hill and she has come up trumps again in 2018. A fine artist, who is probably more at home in the studio, Lauren Maria Hill manages to use these smaller boards to showcase her stunning portrait work.

Lauren Maria Hill, Upfest, Bristol, October 2018
Lauren Maria Hill, Upfest, Bristol, October 2018

Unfortunately I never saw the finished piece, I think it must have been taken away and protected from the showery weather, but you can get the general idea from these pictures. This is another work from Upfest 2018 to feature a leaf from a Swiss cheese plant – Maybe they are fun to paint.

Lauren Maria Hill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Lauren Maria Hill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
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1819. Upfest 2018 (79)

This portrait is a highly memorable and unusual piece by Mazcan. The artist is from Brighton and she is known for painting portraits of women about the place. She is perhaps equally well-known for her crochet work, which she appears to enjoy very much judging from her Facebook feed.

Mazcan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Mazcan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

There is a lot of mystery in this piece, and it seems to be as much about what you can’t see as what you can. Certainly, this was a piece that I couldn’t take my eyes off. I’m not sure I like it as much as some of the pieces on her Facebook pages, but it is a great introduction to her work.

1816. Upfest 2018 (76)

Oh my oh my. This utterly outstanding piece by Elafil was the biggest head turner of the festival. I had to revisit it several times, just to enjoy the bold brash colours and expression knock me over. I seriously rate this piece as a brilliant piece of street art. The bottle green and copper tones work so well together and create something that assault your eyes – ‘hey look at me’ the piece is saying.

Elafil, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Elafil, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Another thing about this particular piece is that it is unquestionably photogenic, which is great for someone like me who likes to present great pictures of street art in my posts. The only downside is that when I got to see it, the artist had already finished and fled the scene. Next time!

Elafil, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Elafil, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Elafil is from Spain although I’m not sure which part. He clearly has ambition to join the international circuit and on this evidence shouldn’t have any problem at all. He has a website which showcases some of his great work, but alas no ‘about me’ tab.

1786. Upfest 2018 (62)

I might have mentioned before that there were a lot of shutter pieces at this year’s Upfest and this mysterious piece is by French artist Kaldea Nakajima. I don’t know too much about her or her work, but have found her creative website that hosts some of her work.

Kaldea, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Kaldea, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I rather like this female portrait with octopus-like tentacles for hair, and a wonderful halo signifying what I’m not quite sure. The lips are very Japanese, and I wonder if there is some influence there, judging from her surname. Altiogether an unusual and calming piece.

1760. Upfest 2018 (54)

Wowzer, a staggering work in blue from Ketones6000 in South Street park at this year’s Upfest. A piece as striking as this is hard to overlook…it simply draws you in to get a better look. The artist, AKA Jerome Davenport is an Australian who has been working out of London during 2017 and 2018, and Upfest was just one of several festivals he painted at this year.

Ketones6000, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Ketones6000, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This photorealistic vision in blue is rather haunting and clearly has a maritime theme going on. The face is the first and most obvious component that you see in this piece, but when you get up close, some other interesting details emerge.

Ketones6000, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Ketones6000, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

On the right hand side of the portrait you can see a tall ship emerging from the fog, so I am guessing the hero is probably a sailor of some kind. I love this piece and the atmosphere it creates – it would be great to get Ketones6000 back for next year.

1739. Upfest 2018 (50)

I always enjoy seeing the evolution of a piece of artwork, and Upfest affords the perfect opportunity to see artists at work and follow progress from cradle to grave. Of course this does depend on being in the right place at the right times, and I got lucky with this outstanding piece by Ant Carver.

Ant Carver, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Ant Carver, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The first stage of this work was to give the wall a splash of colour and texture…the first layer. A mask was then applied to create a draft of the eyes, nose and mouth in isolation from the rest of the work, a little bit like a stencil.

Ant Carver, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Ant Carver, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Once the draft of the eyes, nose and mouth had been added, Ant Carver got to work on the detail, using greyscale for these features. The skill of the piece is in blending all these layers to create a wonderful effect of the separateness and togetherness of greyscale and colour and the strength of detail in the features and vagueness with the rest of the face…very clever work.

Ant Carver, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Ant Carver, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I managed to get a couple of slightly poor pictures of his work at Upfest 2017, so it was nice to be able to get this series of slightly better pictures this time round. A memorable and unusual piece.

Ant Carver, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Ant Carver, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

1738. Upfest 2018 (49)

There is one artist in Bristol whose work manages to attain higher levels each and every time I see it. It is of course Voyder who I have raved about many times in this blog before. At Upfest 2018 he really pulled out all the stops and painted this outstanding piece. Is there no end to his talent?

Voyder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Voyder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This new wall for Upfest was in my view an unquestionable success and gave some bigger ‘permanent’ space for artists who can go big. The cars in the picture above give you a feeling for how big these pieces are.

Voyder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Voyder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Voyder is probably best known for writing his name in a variety of styles, but always utterly recognisable as his work, which reminds me I must do a gallery of his work when I have a bit of spare time.

Voyder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Voyder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

It is difficult to get across how good this piece is, both technically and in its clever subject material. I would take a long shot and guess that this is a self-portrait composed of three main elements: his faceless upper torso; a brown brush stroke of paint across his face; his familiar signature. This makes for at least three very different textures to the piece, each of which would be able to exist alone.

Voyder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Voyder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The hands are beautifully worked and full of expression – I have not seen much of this kind of work from Voyder before although I know he has painted portraits before. The brown brush stroke is something he has been playing with for the last couple of years and appears in many of his pieces these days. I am told that the fill in the Voyder signature is a backdrop to a design screen. To cap the whole thing off nicely we have one of his trademark neon lines running through his name. A heavenly piece from this master of Bristol street art.