1956. Upfest 2018 (120)

With this wheatpaste we enter the complicated world of large corporates ripping off the work of street artists to use as a backdrop for marketing their goods without acknowledgement or payment to the artists. This is a long-standing and difficult issue and one that is becoming more of a conflict zone as street art becomes more and more popular. This article on the BBC website explains it really well.

Face the Strange, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Face the Strange, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Face the Strange and many other artists ran a campaign highlighting a particularly high-profile marketing strategy by clothing company BooHoo after they had featured work by Bristol’s own SPZero76 and Kid Crayon amongst others on some London walls without bothering to identify or contact the artists. It is clear from this paste up that this kind of corporate behaviour is unpopular and that payments/acknowledgment should be made to the artists.

This is a minefield if you venture into it too far, so I tend to keep to the periphery of the discussion, for example it has the potential to bring legal protection of potentially illegal activity and how do we square that one? I just wish people would treat others with respect and decency, I think that is all most people are expecting.

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1955. Upfest 2018 (119)

I am really taken with this piece and could look at it all day, there is something I find most engaging about it…perhaps it sings to the biologist in me. The artist Decimart is from Jerez de la Frontera in Spain and appears to travel around for his work.

Decimart, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Decimart, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I am most pleased that I managed to get pictures of the piece at different stages of its development, but am sorry that I missed out on meeting the artist himself. This was a particularly tricky spot to work in, especially on the Saturday, because of the high winds that funneled through this space. In fact some of the boards, including this one, had to be secured more firmly  in place or they would have blown away.

Decimart, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Decimart, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

In spite of the wind and rain, Decimart has managed to produce one of my favourite pieces of the festival. I would dearly love to see him make a return in the future.

Decimart, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Decimart, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

1954. Upfest 2018 (118)

I have just taken a good long hard look at this piece by Harpoart prior to writing about it and the thing that screamed out at me was how much this looks like a stained-glass window study. It turns out on doing a little research on the Interweb that he is not only a street artist, but is also a stained glass maker.

HarpoArt, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
HarpoArt, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Harpoart has created this stunning owl, at least I think it is an owl, on an approach, set on a wonderfully textured blue background. There is a lovely sense of movement about the piece.

HarpoArt, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
HarpoArt, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I’m not sure that I have seen any of this Brighton artist’s work before, I don’t think so, but perhaps I should make a mental note to make a trip to Brighton some day.

1953. Upfest 2018 (117)

What a clever juxtaposition is presented to us by Spanish artist Sr.X in this piece that shows Joseph Stalin painted in a period propaganda pose, holding Mickey Mouse in his hands. Surely these represent two opposite ends of the political spectrum and what fun to squeeze them together like this.

Sr.X, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Sr.X, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I like Sr.X’s work and have not long ago posted an enormous work by him in Shoreditch. I am surprised that he was allocated such a tiny board for Upfest 2018 and would hope that maybe sometime in the future he gets to paint one of the bigger festival walls. All good.

1952. Upfest 2018 (116)

Well, I’m not too sure where to start with this one from Object… really. The piece features a fairly grotesque headless, winged, multiple-armed torso with a speech bubble containing a well-used phrase ‘eat the rich‘. The phrase itself is attributed to Jean-Jaques Rousseau and alludes to the suggestion that when the people have nothing more to eat, they shall eat the rich.

Object..., Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Object…, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

As political as ever, Object… is tireless in his championing of the underclass, the unrepresented and the unfortunate. His work always comes across as very passionate, and often pained by the injustices of the world…visceral is perhaps the word I am looking for. I realise his work might shock or leave you cold, but I am actually a fan of this thoroughly decent man and artist.

Object..., Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Object…, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

1951. Upfest 2018 (115)

There was a great contribution to Upfest 2018 from the Gums n Tongue crew and this section by Lazy Obit continued The Simpsons theme with an interesting depiction of Millhouse masquerading as a super hero, but which one I am not sure.

Lazy Obit, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Lazy Obit, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

As with all the pieces from this crew, Lazy Obit has produced a high quality, fun piece that enters into the whole spirit of Upfest. On reflection, it might have been better for me to post the whole wall in one go, but my original decision to post them separately was to allow each one to be enjoyed individually. This was a great piece on a great wall from a great crew.

1950. Upfest 2018 (114)

I love this kind of illustration street work…something that could appear in a children’s book, but is on a huge scale. The detail and interest that Dima Kashtalyan has managed to capture in this piece is inspiring.

Dima Kashtalyan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Dima Kashtalyan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I know little of the artist other than that he is an illustrator/artist from Minsk in Belarus. He uses a pointillism style and likes to pose questions and burning issues in his work. Here he asks the question ‘to draw or not to draw?’ probably a crowd-pleasing slogan at an art festival.

Dima Kashtalyan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Dima Kashtalyan, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

There is something very comforting and familiar about this piece and I would gladly have it hanging on a wall at home. Really great stuff.