1180. Upfest 2016 (160)

This was unquestionably one of the most memorable portraits of Upfest 2016. It is a face with a wonderful expression and crazy hair. The artist of this piece is Xemayo, about whom I know nothing and there wasn’t even a biography in the festival programme.

Xemayo, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Xemayo, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

From his Facebook page I can make out that he comes from Valencia in Spain and his full name is Xemayo Gonzalez Vidal.

Xemayo, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Xemayo, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

It would appear from looking at his feed that much of his street artwork takes on the form of these large portraits, often pulling faces. I love this upfest piece.

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1179. Upfest 2016 (159)

I never posted this fabulous small piece until now, because I haven’t been able to identify the artist, and regular readers will know what a stickler I am for such things. However, sometimes it simply isn’t right not to share, and this piece is so good I have gone ahead.

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

Of course if there is anyone out there who might know who the artist is, please let me know.

It is not until you get right up close that you see the fabulous work that has gone into this remarkable piece. There is a lot of detail and some interesting techniques that have gone into this work, and the overall effect is of the highest quality.

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

I like this, a lot – it has something that ticks a lot of boxes for me.

1178. Upfest 2016 (158)

What a lovely piece this is by Gage (Oliver Gillard), and actually what a hugely gifted artist he is. Gage is based in Bristol and runs his own business Gage Graphics, offering large mural commissions.

Gage Graphics, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Gage Graphics, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

In this piece he has some floating 3D writing and a spray can (the tool of his trade) bursting with wildlife and colour. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to really appreciate this piece. I think it is because the images were stored in my archive upside down, and it is hard to appreciate and pick out upside down thumbnails. Lovely work.

1177. Upfest 2016 (157)

It is strange how things come together sometimes. I have only a few days ago posted Hoshiko’s drowned out effort from Upfest 2017, and here I am posting his piece from the previous year. In both cases my photographs don’t really do his work justice – here I have him working but no final picture of the completed board and from 2017, he never actually finished the piece off. Perhaps it’ll be third time lucky if he comes to Upfest 2018.

Hoshiko, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Hoshiko, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

This piece is rather cheerful and light-hearted, with a little monster (utterly unscary) roaring. I think the stencil text at the bottom says ‘I’m a dinosaur’. Some similarities with the work of Miss Wah.

1176. Upfest 2016 (156)

Rewinding a little bit back to Upfest 2016 and a series of five more pieces that never quite made it into the blog…because Upfest 2017 happened! This is a lovely piece that was on the hoardings in North Street. It took me a long time to find out who the artist is, but it turns out that it is Pronk-Stukken who also produced this piece at the same event.

Pronk Stukken, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Pronk Stukken, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

This piece has a strong connection with Mother Earth or nature in my view, and there is a calm serenity in the face. Curiously, this was one of my favourite pieces from the 2106 festival and remains embedded in my memory.

1171. Upfest 2017 (110)

I have featured Skor85 a few times on my blog, and had some confusing information about her identity. I have decided to disregard everything I thought I knew and defer to her Upfest profile, which reads:

Skor85 is a Bristol based creative of Polish origin. She is a self taught artist experimenting with any media available at the time from sand grains to spray paint. She has started her graffiti adventure 4 years ago being influenced by the diversity and music scene of some of the most lively European cities like beloved Bristol Barcelona and Berlin. She is heavily involved in Bristol drawing scene organizing sketching events immortalizing city landscape and live music events as well as running the Sketch Factory (themed life drawing sessions). Creative freedom of expression with others is one of her biggest pleasures in life and paint jams are a big part of it. Characters she paints are pure fantasy and often represent current mood- happiness and worries of the day. Often dreamy or scary but always true to that moment.

Part of the confusion arises out of the fact that her online profile is utterly different from his (sic) printed profile. The one above is more aligned with my previous posts.

Skor85, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Skor85, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This is a terrific piece and has had a lot of care and attention poured into it. Many of her pieces feel quite raw, often because of the locations she chooses, but this has a finesse to it whilst maintaining her unusual style. There is some symbolism here which is tricky to decypher. Nice piece.

1170. Upfest 2017 (109)

It looks like Hoshiko had a pretty miserable time at Upfest this year. He wrote over his own piece saying what it should have looked like, but for the weather. It was abandoned and unfisnished, but it doesn’t detract from his participation and effort at the festival. He was not alone, some artists didn’t even show up.

Hoshiko, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Hoshiko, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

Hoshiko is based in the UK and works mostly with stickers and mixed media paste ups.  Heavily influenced by Japanese culture (no shit Sherlock) he has a passion for robots and candy.