Mazcan produced my absolute favourite collaboration of last year’s Upfest 75 walls in 75 days (75×75) event, so it was a great pleasure to meet her while painting the second of two portraits, both in Greville Smyth Park over the two days of the festival.
The portrait, you might recognise as Uma Thurman and in my view, is an excellent likeness in her stylised form. It was interesting to see how quickly Mazcan was able to produce this piece, which was a bit of a bonus extra piece, using up one of the spare boards available on the second day.
When I see art like this, I realise how lucky we are in Bristol to host Europe’s largest street art festival in the shape of Upfest, and I offer huge respect to Steve and Emma who together with their team manage to organise a truly phenomenal event on such a regular basis. Lovely stuff.
How wonderful to see a familiar Bristol artist taking up one of the semi-permanent walls at Upfest this year. The artist in question is the magnificent Kid Crayon with the first of two Upfest pieces, the other being on a temporary board in Greville Smyth Park.
This rather rare (these days) street piece by Kid Crayon features his name in blues and pinks, nicely worked around the notice board on the wall and a beautiful cartoon-style portrait. The portrait of a silver-haired woman wearing a choker round her neck, is a fine portrait indeed and works so well with his style. The best bit is a return of a floating crayon just in front of the woman’s mouth. It is so good to see Kid Crayon hitting walls again, I only hope he finds time to keep up the momentum.
One of Bristol’s biggest losses (in street art terms) in recent years was the departure of Aspire, who took up residence in the old smoke, making the opposite decision to the one I made many years ago. I definitely know where I’d rather live, and it is not in London. On the upside, Aspire does come to visit Bristol from time to time, and he always seems to dazzle us during Upfest.
Aspire specialises in creating the most beautiful pictures of birds and in this Upfest piece he has perfectly captured my favourite British bird, the Goldfinch. His work is never complete without his trademark pixelation, and it is interesting to see from this work in progress, that he adds the pixels at the end of the painting process.
I love this piece, it feels very uncluttered, and the neutral skyline background serves to lift the goldfinch out from the boards. If you are interested in seeing more of Aspire’s work, I recommend you take a little look at a gallery I compiled in 2018, and updated today.
I leave you with three Haiku poems I wrote about goldfinches:
This is an extraordinary piece from TEAone for Upfest 2022, and one of my firm favourites this year. From a distance, the piece has a photorealistic quality, looking like an old photograph from a scrapbook or something like that. The effect is quite amazing.
TEAone manages to create an incredible atmosphere in this scene with what looks like a continental street. It is set in a warm climate, with the air conditioning units and washing hanging out to dry, and the archway and shopfront and awning have all the hallmarks of a European country, and the word Cucina suggests it would be Italy. I absolutely love this piece… it fills my nostrils with the smells of abroad and a longing to be where this is. I can lose myself in this piece and forget that I am standing in the middle of Bedminster. Bravo TEAone.
Shortly after painting this vibrant piece for Upfest, Rtiiika had a leaving paint jam on Cattle Market Road with her Bristol Womxn Mural Collective friends. I am not too sure where she is leaving to or how long for, but I am certain she will be back.
This is a beautifully designed piece with Rtiiika’s classic stylised figures all jumbled up together. A mash up of shoes, hats, legs, boobs and willies, some in outline and some in solid fill make this a dynamic and fun piece. Even though Rtiiika has left Bristol, I have several more of her pieces in my archive which I hope to find time to post. One of my favourite Rtiiika pieces.
This fabulous piece on one of my favourite Upfest walls is a great way to round off the first five pieces from Upfest 2022. As you can imagine, there will be hundreds of pieces to post by the time the festival ends, so please bear with me as I try to write about them in batches, alongside all the other wonderful street art that we are blessed to see in Bristol. This is by an artist I haven’t heard of before, Derm, and features what looks like a Vaughn Bode Lizard, an Iconic character in the world of street art.
The lizard in this piece is riding what looks like a half-track motor cycle, complete with flat tyres. A classic cartoon-style piece of urban culture street art that really stands out on this wall. One of the great pleasures of Upfest is being exposed to the talents of new artists from around the country, Europe and the world. A great piece of work.