839. Upfest 2016 (132)

An interesting abstractish sort of piece in one of the prime window slots on North Street, currently occupied by a Copyright and Paul Monsters collaboration. This piece is by Age Age, an artist I am struggling to find out much about.

Age Age, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Age Age, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

His piece here is next to the Upfest work of Caro Pepe, which is interesting, because in my trawl of the Interweb, I have found several collaborations between these two artists. A quick look on his Facebook page confirms this.

Age Age, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Age Age, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

Age Age, Hannes Höhlig, is an illustrator and graphic designer from Berlin who, it would appear, likes to get out and spray the streets from time to time. His work is a little surreal and attractive – there are stories going on here. This was a nice festival piece which sadly was defaced not too long after the festival, along with several other pieces in the area. My understanding is that some of the Bedminster locals spray the pieces they don’t like or don’t respect. Oh dear.

Age Age, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Age Age, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

838. Upfest 2016 (131)

This is a stunning piece by Naskool that was situated on hoardings just off North Street, next to the Green. Naskool is an Austrian artist who started spraying in 2004 and now specialises in photorealistic street art.

I managed to take pictures while he was still creating this piece, and it is interesting to see how he built the layers. It seems different artists adopt different techniques.

This is one of the great works of the 2016 festival in my view – the expression and character that oozes from this piece is quite captivating. Alas, it didn’t last very long, as these hoardings were fairly swiftly ‘corporatised’ by the construction firm who are developing the site.

799. Upfest 2016 (130)

Recently, I have posted quite a few pieces from the magnificent Georgie (artist), including a wonderful Michael Caine portrait in The Bearpit. However, when I took these pictures back in July 2016, I don’t think I really knew too much about her.

Georgie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Georgie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This is a fabulous stencil, impactful and eye-grabbing. The contrast of the grayscale stencil and the bright and colourful background work really effectively for the subject matter of the piece. I am too lazy to find out what it is called, but it seems many of her works have an obvious name. I like this very much.

798. Upfest 2016 (129)

I met Annika Wilkinson, who paints under the name of Annika Pixie, for the first time a couple of weeks ago at a local festival in Bedminster. She is a lovely, chatty and talented artist who is from Sweden (although I have to confess I thought her accent Scottish) but is now based in Bristol.

Annika Pixie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Annika Pixie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

She tends to paint portraits that have a mysticism or dreaminess about them, which I rather like. I have found several of her pieces around Bristol, so it was lovely to finally meet her. Great news is that she will be back at this year’s festival,. which is easy for her, as she lives very locally.

797. Upfest 2016 (128)

This piece was one of the most mysterious and moving of the whole festival. It depicts, in a stained glass window style, a mother and child wrapped in a blanket. On first glance it looks like a Virgin Mary and Jesus depiction, and the mother has a halo effect around her head. Look closer and for a little longer and the horror of the image becomes clear. This is a contemporary study of the terrible refugee crisis of people from many of the world’s most troubled regions desperately crossing the Mediterranean Sea to get to mainland Europe.

Unknown artist, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Unknown artist, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

The child is not dressed in swaddling clothes as one so young should be, but strapped into a life jacket and the pair of them are enveloped in a silver sheet to keep them warm. This is both distressing and compelling, and pretty much my favourite piece of the whole festival. One big hitch…The picture was not there on the second day, and I never got to find out who it was by. I scoured the Interweb but drew a blank. If anyone might know, I’d love to find out. I am still really moved by this piece. Brilliant. Bravo.

796. Upfest 2016 (127)

There is only one downside to Upfest, in my eyes, and that is that there is so much art on display, it can be difficult to take it all in. The senses are bombarded around every corner, and in every green space in Bedminster. Sometimes it takes a while…maybe months…for all the images to bed down. This is a case in point, where it is only now when sifting through all my photographs that I am reminded of it.

Steve Pinchess, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Steve Pinchess, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

The artist Steve Pinchess was born in Leicester and brought up through the care system. He loved his art, and meagre resources led him to use the streets as a canvass (I paraphrase from his biography notes in the Upfest programme). He now lives in Bude in Cornwall (very nice too) and shares a gallery with his wife.

Steve Pinchess, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Steve Pinchess, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a clean picture of the whole piece, so am unable to commentate too much on it. Maybe I’ll do a better job this year.

795. Upfest 2016 (126)

In a car park just off Raleigh Road, a double decker bus was given ‘the treatment’ at last year’s Upfest. This side of the bus was given over to Snub23, and he made a beautiful job.

Snub23, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Snub23, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

Snub23 Uses his geometric patterning and shading to great effect, and then looming down from the left is one of his characters that seem to be inspired by the comic genre. Powerful stuff.

Snub23, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Snub23, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Snub23, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Snub23, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016