I expect that these stencils by Cartoonneros have been here for a little while, but I don’t pass by this way all that often, and only found them last weekend. I expect that they were left here when Cartoonneros last visited Bristol and painted the same pipe stencils in Moon Street.
The pipes are a take on the famous Rene Magritte painting ‘ceci n’est pas une pipe’. I am guessing that the bottom stencil features musicians, but I am not savvy enough to work out who they are. I love it when visiting artists ‘drop in’ and leave their little gifts for people like me to find – it keeps things interesting.
One of the admirable things that Upfest manages to do is combine the national and international interest from artists around the globe with local artists who paint the streets of Bristol week in and week out. The artists are treated equally (although some get allocated ‘premium’ walls), and there is a fabulous sense of community.
This piece by local artist Maybe (Maybepaints), who only started painting on the streets about 3 or 4 years ago, doesn’t look out of place shoulder to shoulder with established international artists. The piece is, as much contemporary street art tends to be, a commentary on the state of our environment, with supermarket plastic bags drifting in the ocean.
Maybe is a lovely man – much taller than I had expected – who has developed his own techniques, combining freestyle painting with stencils, to create these remarkable ‘other worldly’ places and scenes. You can see his progress over the last few years in this updated gallery of his work.
This was an unexpected and most welcome surprise, discovered while walking to Vauxhall tube station after attending a large team meeting at the Oval in London recently. Because of who I am, I always have an eye out for anything even slightly resembling graffiti or street art wherever I go. It must be most annoying for the people I am with, that I might appear to be distracted or uninterested. The truth is that I am always looking, searching for the ‘out of the ordinary’ whether that be street art or architecture and the like.
The extra surprise was that this stencil piece of Ian Dury is by Bristol’s Stewy, and I felt rather at home finding it. My colleagues weren’t particularly interested, which was regrettable, in fact I think they found my desire to investigate and photograph the piece a little weird.
Although I was never much of a fan of Ian Dury, his impact on the music scene was undeniable and his subversive glance at society certainly chimes for me. The significance of the location of this stencil is that The Cricketers pub was a venue at which Ian Dury and the Blockheads played some of their early gigs. The venue is now a shuttered and disused building, but one with a great history. Thank you Stewy for making my day in London.
Nice to see you, to see you nice. These are words that, for so many people brought up with the Generation Game, hosted by Bruce Forsyth, will bring back memories of light entertainment television in the 1970s and 1980s. Life seemed so much simpler back then. Three or four TV stations to choose from, precious little to watch after midnight, and some loveable familiar hosts of which one of the very best was Brucie.
Remko, who is of the generation that remembers first-hand, has produced this wonderful stencil of the great man, in which horizontal lines cleverly pick out the entertainer’s features. A classy piece and a classy location. Nice to see you, to see you…
I’m not quite sure if this actually qualifies as street art, even though it is by a studio/street artist, Stephen Quick, and was hanging up outside at the Tobacco Factory. The piece was for sale, alongside three or four others, in the outdoor café area. The resolution isn’t too great because it was quite dark when I took the pictures and I had to lean over some customers rather awkwardly.
I am a huge fan of Stephen Quick’s work, and have enjoyed observing him grow over the years. More than that, I think I’d really like to own an original, but I think I’d better start saving up now. This piece is called ‘Crying Woman’ and is an absolute belter. Some of you might note that the background is courtesy of Paul Monsters. I think I might have to return to the Tobacco Factory soon and take some better pictures.
The 1M square boards at Upfest tend to lend themselves perfectly to small detailed stencil pieces which can sometimes be lost on larger walls, and this is a perfect example of an outstanding stencil piece in exactly the right format.
RJ77stencils has created this haunting and compelling piece of a girl with her head in her hands and the words: ‘Sometimes all I want to do is hide’. The greyscale stencil has at least five layers and possibly more, which bring out all the different textures in the piece, especially on the girl’s jumper. There is so much emotion conveyed in this clever and perfectly executed stencil, demonstrating how the technique comes into its own. Great work from RJ77stencils.
Christmas has come a little early this year in the form of this great stencil piece by John D’oh at Horfield skate park. It is a strong reminder that as we head into an unusual Christmas period with the backdrop of our very own cost of living crisis, we need to be mindful that there are others facing constant troubles far worse than our own. This stencil reminds me of an answer I give to my children when they ask me what I want for Christmas and I give them the same reply every time (I am a dad after all); “all I want for Christmas is world peace”. The answer is deliberately both humorous and serious, a blend John D’oh achieves here.
This piece also reminds me of a Costah piece that I posted a few days ago from my trip last June to Porto, which represents a street artist acting as a chronicler of these troubled times, something that John D’oh excels at. Let us all wish for peace this Christmas.
Every now and then you get lucky, being in the right place at the right time. This is particularly true of finding street art on vehicles, and I was fortunate enough to see this Stinkfish piece on the side of a van parked up outside St Werburghs City Farm around a week ago.
Some readers might remember that Stinkfuish visited Bristol in October 2021 to tidy up a couple of his long-standing pieces in the City, and while he was here he left a few other little ‘surprises’ about the place. I imagine he painted this small portrait piece at around the same time, as it is still in great condition.
If you look carefully, you can just see a black line on the left where paint spilled over from the stencil used to create the black and yellow elements of the portrait. The decorative aspect I think light have been painted on with a brush, although it might be a stencil too, I am not sure. Finding pieces like this is so rewarding, and gives me the same tingle of excitement I get when I find a large shark tooth fossil on Bracklesham Bay beach, on my occasional trips to West Sussex.
This is a cheeky piece from John D’oh in the style of a saucy seaside postcard but drawing in some political commentary about our current economic crisis, and he carries if off really well, in my view.
This piece was painted on a column that previously played host to a Boris Johnson stencil, also by John D’oh, and reminds us of the important role played by political commentators, whether writers or artists, in documenting current events and the impacts of political decisions on society as a whole. Something a little different from John D’oh to enjoy.
I have only once before come across Madderdoit, and that was a column stencil piece under Brunel Way in Bristol, so it was good to see a couple more pieces by the artist in the skate park for the Cheltenham Paint Festival, of which this is one.
The kid sitting among a bunch of spray cans reminds me a little of an early Dice67 piece, and is nicely done. The brightly sprayed heart is also a nice touch, without which the whole thing would be duller. I like the spread of spray cans, but would have created two or three stencils for these and perhaps coloured the tops – but there I go again nit-picking. This is a nice fresh stencil from Madderdoit.