950. Upfest 2017 (20)

This is a wonderful and photogenic piece by Karl Read, a stencil artist from the south coast who produced another lovely piece at Upfest 2016. A boy dressed as superman wearing converses and flying on a swing is a winning idea, and this piece has movement, tenderness and nostalgia combined in equal measure.

Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I don’t know how he put up with the tiny space he had to work in and the crowds stepping over his kit to get photographs of his work and the adjacent work of Lemak.

Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This was another really striking piece from the festival and has been shared a lot on Instagram over the last week or two. I really rather like it and feel that perhaps it deserved a permanent wall rather than a board, but then I could say that about pretty much everything at the festival. Note for next year…more permanent walls please.

Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Karl Read, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

949. Upfest 2017 (19)

Many will instantly recognise the wonderful abstract work of Decay instantly. A Bristol-based graffiti artist who has appeared in numerous posts on this blog, with his characteristic concentric shapes of black, white, grey and red. He was very smart this year – he is a quick worker, and he sprayed his piece early on the Saturday morning before the rain came, and was then free to enjoy the festival with the rest of us punters.

Decay, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Decay, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I met up with him in one of the venues, I think it was the Rising Sun, by chance which was lucky, because I had told him via Instagram that I wanted to buy one of his lovely new T-shirts and would do so if I met him. The shirt is great, and a nice souvenir of the day. I also had another little souvenir in the shape of one of the spray cans Decay used to spray this piece (the one on the left of the feature image).

Mrs Scooj was not impressed and said that I was behaving like a groupie and should grow up a bit. I prefer to think of myself working alongside these artists, and whilst I admire them I don’t think I idolise them. Without archivists and rapporteurs, our world would be transient and ‘in the moment’ but there would be little in the way of context.

Another fine Decay piece.

948. Upfest 2017 (18)

Regular viewers of this blog will be familiar with the talents of Georgie, a Bristol artist who uses many different techniques for her street art work. This time she has selected a collage and spray piece with a nice big smiley face. She has incorporated other pieces of her work in the surrounding collage, including the ‘Citizen of Nowhere’ stencil.

Georgie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Georgie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
It was all pretty busy in North Street Green where she was working when I passed through, so I decided not to bother her, especially with the showery weather which made things tricky for artists and visitors alike. This was a wonderfully cheerful piece which really embodied the spirit of Upfest. Keep on Smiling.

947. Upfest (17)

Upfest this year hosted so many talented artists and they produced a plethora of really striking pieces. This one by graffiti artist Sonic Oner is a real eye-catcher, and a quick look at his Facebook page shows you what an extremely talented artist he is.

Sonic Oner, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Sonic Oner, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

It was a real challenge to take good pictures at Upfest this year, because of the very changeable weather conditions, and these pictures just don’t do justice to the amazing contrasts between the black background, the bright green and wispy white.

Sonic Oner, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Sonic Oner, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This wasn’t the only Upfest piece that Sonic Oner did…he managed to find a permanent wall as well which I will feature in a future post. This really is an outstanding piece.

946. Upfest 2017 (16)

First impressions count, and when I was doing my first walk around Upfest on the Saturday, this piece leapt out at me and grabbed my attention. Although I tend to have many favourites much of the time, I think I would have to say that this was the outstanding piece for me at Upfest 2017.

Bisser, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Bisser, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This friendly monster is by Bisser, a 27 year old Belgian artist and according to his Upfest biography notes ‘he’s influenced by graffiti, street art, muralism, cartoons and comics. His visual style is figurative and is very recognisable’.

Bisser, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Bisser, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

The first thought I had when I saw this monster was of the book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, by Maurice Sendak. So much expression, a simple idea beautifully executed. This piece deserves a permanent wall. Maybe if he comes to Upfest again he’ll get one – he certainly ought to on the back of this.

Bisser, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Bisser, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I chatted for a while with Bisser, and he is such a decent unassuming, modest fellow. He told me that his name in Flemish (I think that’s what he said) means ‘taken twice’ in relation to exams/college work – I think the equivalent in English would be ‘retake’. He adopted the name because he had to do his art exams a second time after first failing them. I like it that he has found strength and even a moniker from facing up to challenges. My favourite piece at Upfest.

941. Upfest 2017 (15)

Oze Arv was a very busy man during his short stay in Bristol for Upfest. This Portuguese artist from Lisbon uses patterns to mix expression and graphics. His style is instantly recognisable, as you will see as I post all of the work he left behind for Bristolians.

Oze Arv, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Oze Arv, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This is a lovely shutter piece on North Street, one of two ‘official’ pieces he sprayed for Upfest. Shutters are always hard, but he has been smart with this one, laying down a white background, which lifts the whole piece really well. I think most of his work tends to include the natural world.

Oze Arv, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Oze Arv, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I like the combination of the abstract and natural, I think it works well. I caught up with him for a few minutes, and he seemed like a really nice guy, happy to chat about his work. Lots more to come.

940. Upfest 2017 (14)

This was one of my favourite pieces of the South Street Park site at Upfest 2017. The picture of a Pirate is beautifully illustrated and has all the nostalgic feel of a children’s picture book. I would willingly pick up and read a book with pictures such as this. It tells its own story, for example, the writing on the pirate’s knuckles spells ‘FREE’…

Rame13, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Rame13, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

The work is by Rame13 an Italian artist born in Pisa. She has been painting from an early age, but has only been producing street art since 2016, so a relative newcomer. Her Facebook page confirms what I already know…that I love her style, and the kind of work she produces, it is well worth a quick look.

Rame13, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Rame13, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

Looking at the work in progress, it is interesting to see how she works in blocks, rather than in layers, like spray artists tend to do. Indeed it is refreshing to see street artists working without spray cans – there were a few at Upfest this year.

Rame13, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Rame13, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

I think it would be easy for me to become a big fan – I hope she returns next year. Lovely work.