1991. Upfest 2018 (127)

Always, always a firm favourite with me are the pop culture stencils by Stephen Quick, a brilliant Bristol artist and Upfest regular. This piece ‘Can stand up, will stand up’ is one of a series of similar pieces that he has created with this character.

Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

There are several cultural references in the piece, which include the obvious homage to Star Wars, but also there is the sword of He Man and the bracelet (not in this picture) of Wonder Woman. His style is unique and vibrant, and I always look  forward to a quick annual catch up at Upfest.

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1599. Raleigh Road, Tobacco Factory (13)

Well now, here is another fabulous stencil by Stephen Quick, and due to its location in a car park is almost impossible to photograph, so I will rebrand these images as ‘arty’ on account of the fine reflections on the shiny black bonnet of the annoying car parked in front of the piece.

Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road, Bristol, July 2018
Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road, Bristol, July 2018

Once again Stephen Quick spoils us with an image of an iconic figure in the shape of Totoro. The piece is called ‘I bet you’re Totoro and is a direct reference to a massive manga film I have never seen, made in 1988, ‘My Neighbour Totoro‘. Exposing my ignorance even further, I am not sure who the lady in the picture is, but I am sure she is probably famous. I am not very good with Iconic references and usually do really badly on those online quizzes you see from time to time. Now ask me something about natural history and I am onto a winner.

Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road, Bristol, July 2018
Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road, Bristol, July 2018

This is a really fabulous and intricate stencil and I know that Stephen spends many hours preparing for these pieces. Maybe one day he could give me some basic tips for my ambitions one day to join the ranks of Bristol street artists.

1568. Raleigh Road, Tobacco Factory (11)

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.

Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road, Bristol, June 2018
Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road, Bristol, June 2018

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!

Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road, Bristol, June 2018
Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road, Bristol, June 2018

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.

1169. Upfest 2017 (108)

This is a wonderful piece by Stephen Quick, a brilliant Bristol stencil artist and, I understand, YouTuber. I have to say that I never got to see this piece in its finished state, which I am really annoyed about, but have seen it on Digital Social Media and it looks spectacular.

Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

Stephen has a style that mixes and merges ideas and iconic figures to produce blended stencils of the highest quality. Stephen quick has a lot to say about this piece on his website, and to save myself the time I have pinched his text and offer it below:

‘Pop Girl’ is my modern day mash up, pop culture heroine. My idea being if my recent generation get a call to arms we will arm ourselves with items from our pop upbringing, Inspired by Tank Girl, she wears a R2D2 helmet, armed with the Sword of Omen from Thundercats, with good luck charms from Harry Potter and The Legend of Zelda, she is ready to take on the world!

Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

In my pictures, the Harry Postter charms are missing. and background not completed, but I didn’t want to leave it out of my Upfest updates. I do like his work very much.

834. Raleigh Road, Tobacco Factory (9)

I love the stencil work of Stephen Quick, and I love Star Wars, so this was a nice treat for me to find. The piece is attached next to the front gate of the car park to the Tobacco Factory and looks out onto the street with a quiet modesty.

Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017
Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017

I guess it is a tribute piece to the amazing Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. Stephen Quick is becoming a bit of a specialist at tributes to the stars…which is a little unfortunate, but they are also a wonderful way of recognising how important these people are in our lives.

Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017
Stephen Quick, Raleigh Road Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017

A New Hope is simply shortened to HOPE – there is a story here somewhere. Simple, moving and some great drips. Nice work from Stephen.

805. Raleigh Road, Tobacco Factory (7)

I had had a tip-off, via Stephen Quick’s Instagram feed that he and Hannah Adamaszek would be doing a collaboration at the Tobacco Factory, on the weekend of 13-14 May, so I managed to sneak over on the Saturday to see what they were up to.

Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017
Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017

What a treat. Stephen had organised for a few established, up and coming and debutant artists to spray the car park bays during what was a bit of a Bedminster festival. This work is really interesting because it brings together two distinct styles into a synthesis that joins them. The subject matter is the same, but the techniques quite different.

Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017
Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017

Stephen Quick works mostly with stencils and Hannah with freestyle paints and spray. It was interesting watching them concentrating on their respective halves of the collaboration.

Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017
Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017

It is possible to see that some elements of the original piece obviously didn’t work too well for the artists, so they were removed, for example the purple birds in the background.

Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017
Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017

I love the work of both of these artists, and I love the way they have collaborated on this piece. Does it work? I am not sure. Has it enhanced their styles or cramped them? On balance, I consider it a triumph, but it brings into sharp perspective the difficulties of working together. A bit like being married I guess…different styles, a collaboration.

Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017
Stephen Quick and Hannah Adamaszek, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2017

510. Upfest 2016 (67)

I first ‘discovered’ Stephen Quick in January this year, when I found one of his pieces in the Tobacco Factory car park. I was immediately drawn to it because of both its wonderful stencil technique and its subject matter – Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher kissing. Brilliant.

Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

I then found another of his pieces, again in the Tobacco Factory car park (a fine venue for street art), which features Alan Rickman as a ‘Severus Sane’ commemorating the sad passing of Rickman and David Bowie in one superb piece.

 

Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

Imagine then my excitement then at not only finding another piece at Upfest 2016, but also at meeting Stephen and having a long chat about his work and compositions. He is a really, really nice guy.

 

Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

This is a remarkable piece, presenting the unlikely couple of the Iron Man and Judy Garland’s Dorothy in a close and intimate pose. There is tenderness and a passion from her and a cold, metallic heartlessness from him. It works so well. This is a magnificent stencil, and one of the best pieces from Upfest this year. I look forward to meeting Stephen again, and if I am lucky enough interviewing him. Great work.

Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Stephen Quick, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016