1732. Upfest 2018 (43)

The quality of Stencil work at this year’s Upfest was once again really high, and this beautiful piece from Neverender Design is just one of many examples of this. The portrait is a six layer stencil piece which looks rather tribal to me and is full of atmosphere and mystery and well as being technically excellent.

Neverender Design, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Neverender Design, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Neverender Design is a huge inspiration to any wannabe artists because he was inspired to start his own work at Upfest 2013 and he decided he would like to return to the festival as an artist rather than as a spectator. Well, here he is, and in my view he has absolutely smashed it. There’s hope for me yet.

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1731. Upfest 2018 (42)

I approached Upfest on the Saturday morning from East Street and as I was at that end of Bedminster, dived into Dean Lane skate park because it is always busy with ‘fringe’ festival art, and by that I mean it is not all entirely official. This is one such stencil work by About Ponny, an artist not known to me before…I have immediately become a fan.

About Ponny, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
About Ponny, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

About Ponny is a highly skilled stencil artist from Bologna in Italy and I found a short biography on his Facebook page which I have translated from the Italian using Google translate. It reads as follows:

Ponny was born in Bologna one evening after dinner.

Single, but only in the name, because always accompanied; for this reason it has no gender.

Son of a game between friends and of the passion for art, in all its forms, as long as expression and creativity, incessant source of emotion.

In continuous search for balance on the edge of legality, the road torments him, the only place to express himself!

This work, in  my mind, is stencil work of the highest calibre. The subject is touching and soulful, the execution brilliant, the colour scheme has an earthy and innocent quality and the location is brilliant. One of the best ‘unofficial’ Upfest 2018 pieces.

1707. Upfest 2018 (32)

I have only been doing this street art thing for about three years and so I am constantly learning and making discoveries. This fascinating shutter piece is by a Bristol artist that I have not, until now, come across before (and I thought I knew it all).

Dandiego, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Dandiego, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The artist, Dandiego, is a stencil artist who specialises in multi layer geometric designs, and in the case of this piece the the geometric designs work together to create the whole…a racing cyclist. This is like one of those pictures that comes into high resolution if you slightly shut your eyes.

I have just had a look at Dandiego’s Instagram account to see if I can find out more, or see whether I might have missed any of his previous work, but it doesn’t reveal too much just yet, other than that he will be painting at the Cheltenham Paint Festival (organised by Dice67) this weekend. Alas I’ll not be going as I’ll be fishing in Cornwall.

1682. Upfest 2018 (22)

Well several of these beautiful stencils by Kin Dose appeared sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, each sprayed on a utility box. This one of a hare I think from recollection is opposite the Louis Masai piece.

Kin Dose, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Kin Dose, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I think that this is a very clever stencil, because of the thought that has gone into the background swirls which really help to highlight the subject so well. Kin Dose only occasionally takes to the streets, but when he does he excels every time. A perfect ‘unofficial’ Upfest piece. More to follow.

1669. Upfest 2018 (20)

I was looking for the Andrew Burns Colwill piece (to follow soon) which I knew was a little off the beaten track for Upfest 2018 and spotted this brilliant little stencil by John D’oh on the wall of The Black Cat pub on the corner of West Street and Westbourne Grove.

John D'oh, Upfest, Bristol, August 2018
John D’oh, Upfest, Bristol, August 2018

When I see small ‘hidden’ gems like this, I wonder how many Upfest visitors might have missed it in their quest for the ‘marquee’ artists – I don’t suppose it matters really, but as a street art hunter, I like to work hard for my trophies, it is what I do. This is a really accomplished little stencil and one that really chimes for me – a great little find – Thank you John D’oh.

1665. Upfest 2018 (16)

I think that Stewy owns this wall. The Bristol-based stencil artist has had one of his pieces on this little wall in North Street for at least three years now. The ram is a fine successor to the Bristol Pounds £5 that was there before.

Stewy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Stewy, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I am and will continue to be a keen supporter of Stewy’s work, which is a cool mix of celebrity work and wildlife stencils. This was not his only stencil at this year’s Festival, and I’ll save one of his others for a future post. Let’s hear it for this extremely intricate single-layer stencil of a ram…

1651. Hillgrove Street (7)

I don’t visit Hillgrove Street as much as I used to when I first started writing about street art, probably because turnover of work is very low there, so there is rarely new stuff to find. However, it is always worth checking every now and then, and these two (relatively) new pieces bear this out.

qWeRT and RIP, Hillgrove Street, Bristol, August 2018
qWeRT and RIP, Hillgrove Street, Bristol, August 2018

The wheatpaste on top is by qWeRT, who seems to have blitzed Bristol some time during late spring or early summer. This is another charming googly eyed pair…there is always so much hope and love in these paste ups.

The bird below is a nice simple stencil by RIP who is an occasional visitor to Bristol, and always leaves behind as few treasures to uncover. Both pieces complement each other and are placed carefully. Placement is a key skill for small stencils and paste ups. All good.