The boards at North Street Green are mostly set out in pairs and in portrait orientation. This means that when writing about them, one has to take them in pairs. Sometimes the pairing is wholly complementary, almost like a collaboration. In other cases the pairings are in marked contrast, and this is one of those. On the left is a feline (tiger?) face by Bristol’s J. West and on the right is a simple portrait of a girl and overwritten with colourful squiggles by Everything’s Oh-Kay.
J.West is no stranger to this blog, and I most recently featured his street savvy panda complete with ghetto blaster from The Bearpit. This blue cat, composed of geometric shapes and contrasting colours is probably the best of his work I have seen to date. I really like it.
I have not seen any of Everything’s Oh-Kay’s work before, and my first impression is that it feels very graphic designery. In fact, a great many street artists are designers and illustrators by day, taking to the walls to liberate their asrtistic talents away from a commission or customer brief. I am a little on the fence with this particular piece, and would like to see more.
Following directly on from my post of Hannah Adamaszek and Saroj, here is another all female collaboration from last year’s Upfest between Kler and So Free So. Once more I feel lucky to see the work of two more artists relatively unknown to me.
This collaboration works so well with two very different styles using similar colours to create two distinct female portraits. The portrait on the left is by Kler, from Barcelona, where she sprays on the legal walls. A former designer, she now travels widely for street art festivals. Her piece here at Upfest is a triumph.
So Free So is a Swiss graphic designer who also does a lot of street work. She tries to convey emotions in her pieces, and the shadowy eyes and mouth in this work are part of this inner exposure. She has collaborated with Kler on several occasions, and on researching her for this post, it turns out I have seen their work before at Upfest. So Free So’s website is really well worth a look.
There were many fine collaborations at Upfest last year, but few of them were finer than that between Hannah Adamasek and Saroj. I have written many times about Hannah’s work, but don’t believe I have come across Saroj before.
In the Upfest programme there is a really nice profile for Saroj Patel, and rather than paraphrase it, I have decided to offer it in full:
Saroj is a designer and artist whose practice encompasses illustration, painting, graphic design, typography and art direction. Nature is a compelling part of her work which incorporates decorative arrangements of organic forms, flora, and wildlife, creating a distinctive hand drawn style which displays a fluidity of movement through the use of patterns, lines and colour.
Saroj draws inspiration from exploring the natural and built environments around her, from wandering city streets to hiking in forests and mountains, capturing moments of stillness and chaos, embracing and absorbing the beauty in every moment.
I like this aquatic piece that places a swimmer in a setting of plants and fish, resulting in a rather atmospheric and fresh piece.
I was lucky enough to visit this piece, which was in the beer garden of the Steam Crane, several times over the festival and it is interesting to see how it developed. I am hoping that both will return this year.
Bringing up the 150 mark for Upfest 2017 (roughly half way through!) is this striking mural by Kristx. Again, this is another piece that I never got to see in its finished state, which is a real pity, because it looks magnificent…a bold and captivating work.
Her biography in the Upfest programme is comprehensive, but also suffers a little from translation issues, alternating his and hers throughout. She is French, self taught and has been spraying full time for four years. More of her work can be seen on her Facebook stream, well worth a visit.
Another artist who it would be great to welcome this year. I am not sure if she applied or was accepted/
What a brilliant piece this is from Cheo, the largest of several walls from the artist at Upfest featurig the animation character Morph. In this piece Morph is joined by his erstwhile partner in crime Chas.
My favourite part of this wall though is not the two characters in the foreground, but the gallery of bristol artists behind them. Morph originated on a television programme for children called Vision On, and one section of the show was dedicated to ‘the gallery’ which showed paintings that had been sent in by children, accompanied by great music, that all children of my generation would recognise instantly.
Cheo’s hilarious take on the Vision On gallery features several well known Bristol street artists with his take on their entries, knowing what he knows about their styles now. very funny.
In the piece he honours Andy Council (dinosaur), Soker ( a little girl), Voyder (a unicorn), 45RPM (an owl), 3Dom (a castle), Inkie (a Wallace and Gromit), Cheo (a bee) and Chelway (a whale). Poking fun at his mates.
As with many of the pieces from the Aston Gate site at Upfest, I never got a picture of this completed work by London-based artist Woskerski.
I have seen and posted a piece of his from Leake Street tunnel in London about a year or so ago but have not seen any more of his work since, so it was great to see this photorealistic piece at Upfest.
Adjacent to the face wearing the 3D specs Woskerski has added some wildstyle writing, which demonstrates the versatility of this artist, who also paints under the name Methyl. Just a pity I didn’t get a final shot.