There is one artist in Bristol whose work is guaranteed to bring a splash of colour and an interesting perspective and that is Tom Miller. This piece has appeared recently opposite the Riverside Garden Centre and is a bit of a stunner.
There is a bicycle theme on the left hand side which is full of movement and which appears to metamorphosise into a fairly typical abstract explosion of colour and form the further to the right of the piece you look.
The transition is worked so skilfully and perhaps exaggerated by splitting the piece up into three sections (I had to do this because the fence where it is painted is so long.
Ever since I first saw my first Tom Miller piece I have marvelled at his extraordinary talent and how he has brought his unique brand of surreal fine art into the street. In my view an artistic genius.
Wowzer, this is a wonderful piece by Sr.X in Shoreditch on the wall of the Village Underground. I have seen work by the artist before in London, but didn’t know that he was Spanish and the Sr stands for Senor. I found this out by reading the informative blog by Jenikya, which features this and other pieces I will need to know about for my own posts, which is most helpful.
It would appear that I got lucky as the piece was reasonably new and only painted at the beginning of November. This has humour and a strong retro feel to it. I think I would include the word ‘zany’ and perhaps even reference Terry Gilliam, the illustrator and animator (and film director) from Monty Python as a possible influence.
This is a huge piece, an impressive wall and for a day-tripper a wholly satisfying work that would have been worth the trip to London on its own.
I think that this was my favourite wall of Upfest 2018. Situated just off Dean Lane and on the margins of the Upfest main drag this new wall played host to four or five astonishing pieces, including my favourite piece of the festival by Kowse One. This magnificent and rather different piece is by Ione from Tenerife, which is interesting, because it shares the same understated tones used by Feoflip, a fellow Canary Islander, who came to Bristol in 2016 for Upfest and sprayed many pieces all around the city.
I rate this piece very highly in part because it is so unusual. It seems to borrow heavily from the Cubist and Surrealist genres and there are elements that remind me of Picasso and Miro. The figure also makes me think of Mary Poppins, but that might just be me. Subtle and interesting, I love this piece and love the wall.
Although he specialises in cats and dogs, Daz Cat also occasionally produces these somewhat surreal pieces that contain his styling and preferred colours and so are unmistakably his work.
I’m not too sure what is happening here – monsters or mutant cats or dogs…who knows? for me there is a ‘War of the Worlds’ thing happening here, but I think that is probably my fertile imagination extrapolating the piece a little too far. Fun work from Daz Cat.
I realise that this piece was not an official Upfest piece, but I don’t really care about that, because it is by one of Bristol’s finest artists, Tom Miller, and was painted in Dean Lane during the Festival – it counts in my book.
I managed to hook up with Tom Miller a couple of times over the festival, indeed we cowered from a heavy rainshower together on the Saturday morning under one of the skate park ramps.
Yet again, Tom Miller has absolutely ‘nailed it’ as he seems to do with every piece he creates. I only wish that my photography was up to the standard that he sets with his murals.
It is often difficult to fathom out what exactly is going on in Miller’s pieces and indeed, I think it is often open to interpretation – maybe only the artist really knows what this piece is about, but it incorporates all of his surrealist elements and the bright colours he uses. What is incredible about Tom Miller is that he seems to be just as adept with spray cans on walls as he is with paint brushes in the studio, and the end results are always unmistakably Miller pieces. Bravo two times over – I love this piece.
Jimmer Wilmott is one of the warmest and most welcoming artists I have met. On the two occasions I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with him he has exuded enthusiasm from every pore, and his rather quirky and fun-loving personality is reflected in his pop surrealist art.
It was great to see him at work at Upfest and to witness one of his ‘canvasses’ come to life – I have seen many of them on Instagram, but none ‘in the flesh’. Seeing the layers and the brush work during its genesis and then the final painting was a privilege. The last time I saw him he had created an eyeball using spray cans at Dean Lane skate park.
I think he got a bit carried away during our conversation and was inviting me to go with him to the Cheltenham street art Festival and paint with him. I had to remind him that I have no artistic talent and a total of 2 hours spraying experience. I am however tempted.
It is simply not, not possible (thank you Manja Mexi Movie) to admire the bravery and talent in the work of Tom Miller. This transformation of a container that is more used to hosting quick burners is quite remarkable. Sadly, it has since reverted, but for a few fleeting moments class had arrived in this Dean Lane spot.
Unfortunately I arrived a little too early to see this piece completed – there is a little footnote in the bottom right saying ‘Back 2moro’. I think it was almost completed, but when I returned only a few days later it had been over-sprayed. It is part of the game, and all artists know the score, but there is something disrespectfully self-destructive about writing over good art I feel.
Tom Miller confounds with his surreal explosiveness, connecting a dream world with a tangible one. The colours he has used and the overall effect is like nothing else I have ever seen in Dean Lane. I do like it when highly competent and trained artists take to the streets, it adds to the incredible diversity of free art. Bravo! Tom Miller.