At the far end of the Tobacco Factory staff car park is this modest and ephemeral piece by Annika Pixie. It was painted during an annual weekend paint jam organised by Stephen Quick.
This wispish and haunting portrait is very much in the style that is associated with Annika. There are two things I particularly like about thuis piece…the veil-like see through curtain that sits between the subject and the viewer, and the nicely arranged stencils that surround the whole piece.
Every year in May, Stephen Quick organises a live paint jam at the Tobacco Factory Sunday market and invites along a bunch of friends to paint with him. Somehow I managed to miss it this year, which is a pity, but I did manage to get down eventually to see the results.
This is a fabulous multi-layered stencil from Lemak who creates these incredible pop-culture pieces. This one is of the legendary Jean-Michel Basquiat whose place in street art history is hugely significant. The crowns around the piece honour the subject as the king. Crowns denote the respect in which a particular artist is held and tend to be reserved for the upper echelons of the street graffiti/art scene.
It is a while since I last saw a new piece from Lemak (I think he has been busy in his studio) so it was great to see this one. The quality of his work is really out of the top drawer.
I first became aware of Stephen Quick’s work only a few metres from this spot with his fabulous kiss between Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. To this day I am a big fan of his intricate stencils featuring contemporary stars and icons in familiar poses with a commentary twist.
This piece, a representation of the damage done to the reputation of Facebook in the light of recent scandals, brilliantly portrays the difficulties facing the company. I don’t know if it is intentional or not, but as if to rub salt into the wound, Quick has added his Twitter and Instagram account details at the bottom of the piece in the corporate colour of Facebook. Hah!
It is not only the witty content of his work that I am attracted to but it is the brilliant technical approach to his multi-layered pieces that amazes. He posts a lot of videos and pictures of his pieces in production on his website, Splintered Studios, and I thoroughly recommend a visit. All good.
There is a small wall on North Street that Stewy seems to have made his own. Back in July 2016 he had a fabulous stencil of the great musician Robert Wyatt on this wall, which was a particular favourite of mine, because I like his music.
This beautiful stencil, sprayed around the time of last year’s Upfest is a reproduction of a Bristol Pounds five pound note (yes we have our own currency here in Bristol) which depicts a number of Bristol heroes including Isembard Kingdom Brunel, DJ Derek and Robert Wyatt. To get a decent look at it you need to look at it sideways.
A perfect evolution stencil for skaters, using the well known ‘ascent of man’ graphic from The Agent. This is an old photograph, and it feels like forever since I saw anything new from The Agent.
Maybe he has given up painting on the streets, or maybe he is taking a break or perhaps he is now taking a back seat, now that his son Angus is on the ascendency. Whatever his reasons I hope he hits the streets again soon – maybe for Upfest, which I know he gets involved with – because I miss his mischievous Minions.
I missed my first Thursday doors last week since I began 37 weeks ago. Just a little too much on my plate.
This week I was sifting through my archives when I found this door, which I have been looking for for a long time. I knew I had it, but I just didn’t know where.
The door in question, Number 5, has undergone many facelifts over the last few years of which I think this was the best. Currently it is free from graffiti and I think the owner is trying to keep the door and walls clean. It will be an uphill struggle, but I genuinely wish them luck. I don’t much favour graffiti on private property.
I think the owner at the time might have painted these pineapples as a way of discouraging graffiti, and it certainly worked for a while. Some (many) taggers have no respect though. The pineapples made me smile though. I am glad I found them again.
I think the prize for the busiest artists of Upfest 2017 goes to Pahnl who were not only the featured Festival artists for the year, but who also painted two walls with their intricate stencil work.
Actually, it was some days after the festival that they finally managed to finish this wall, but it was worth the wait. Their style of work has the look and feel of corporate identy and logos, with ‘toilet door man’ setting about various tasks and activities.
The partnership certainly produced something out of the ordinary with their work, unlike anything else at the festival. there is more about this duo from Birmingham on their fine website.