Off we go again on another batch of fabulous street/graffiti art from Upfest 2018, starting with this stunner from Lokey. Lokey, a Bristol artist is a specialist at 3D writing, and this piece is close to perfection in my view. With subtle shading and clever ‘hourglass’ highlights the letters LOKEY are lifted out from the black background.
Everything about this piece is good – the colours, the design and proportions and the lovely clean sharp lines. This is definitely one of my favourite graffiti pieces from the festival this year. It took me a couple of days to get a good picture of it though, because every time I went to take a look at it, there were bunches of people standing in front of it. There should be a law against that.
This is an outstanding large mural by Sicilian duo Rosk and Loste and one of the finest of the larger pieces at this year’s festival. Unfortunately I am unable to tell you anything more about the artists, because I can’t find anything about them on the Interweb.
This massive wall is slightly set apart from the main concentration of Upfest artwork, and probably receives fewer visitors during the festival weekend which is highly unfortunate, because this piece is really impressive.
I didn’t actually get to see it until a few weeks after Upfest, because it is in a part of town I rarely visit and I had to wait until I was passing by to get these pictures. The photorealistic style is so impressive as is the scale. Worth the journey.
The artist for this piece is Rosie McLay, not to be confused with Muffin Mclay the old English sheepdog in the brilliant book ‘Hairy Mclary from Donaldson’s Dairy’ by Lynley Dodd. I digress. Rosie is a graduate of UWE in Bristol where she studied drawing and applied arts. There is more about her in this interesting short interview on the ‘Sky Light Rain’ website
Her piece for Upfest of course appeals to me because it is centered on a fish, and some readers might know that fish hold considerable significance for me. I love her sketch style and there are some interesting concepts to the piece, the bones in the mouth of the fish and a hand emerging by the tail and a skyline along the base of the piece, I would love to know the back-story to this one. Great work from Rosie McLay.
The forecast for Upfest this year had been pretty dreadful, which was disappointing as the rain came in the middle of a heat wave and prolonged spell of dry weather. The impact on many artists was that they made hay while the sun shined and finished their pieces early on Saturday. The upshot to this is that there were several artists I would have liked to catch up with that were long gone by the time I found their work.
Decay has long been a favourite of mine, and it is great to see that in 2018 he has really started to grow his style while keeping the basic elements of his colour pallette and curvy lines. This is a 10 year celebration piece and has a nice little dedication to Emma and Steve, the masterminds behind Upfest in the top right. If I am not mistaken, there is a Bowie lyric in there too. This is a nice splash of colour and a lovely nod to the festival itself.
John Curtis is a well-known Bristol artist who specialises in urban landscapes and whose work is recognisable from his use of colours and long lines. I have only seen studio pieces by this artist before, so it was interesting to see how his work translated to a large wall. If I am honest it is exactly the same, only bigger. Brilliant really.
I think that this is a picture of Park Street in Bristol looking up at the Wills Memorial building up on the right hand side, although it might be somewhere else altogether. I love the night-time atmosphere that is brought to life in this piece. Highly accomplished and highly recommended to look at in the flesh It is in the passage way into the courtyard of the Steam Crane pub at the end of North Street.
There is a very clear message in this excellent piece by Sophie Long, ‘save the bees’, a most noble message and one that most sensible people can subscribe to. It is common knowledge that globally and locally we are losing our pollinators at an alarming rate and most of the decline is due to pesticides because…guess what…they are designed to kill insects. A classic case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
There is a nice interview with the artist on the excellent Auntie G website which I can recommend – it is only a couple of minutes long, but it is nice to see the artist explain her work.
Now onto the artwork itself. I am definitely a fan of Sophie’s work and have featured several pieces in Natural Adventures in the past. Her studies of wildlife are magnificent and her rather etherial style gives her subjects a sense of movement. Her trademark though probably has to be those drips…such wonderful drips. This was one of the special pieces at Upfest this year.
Max ‘syther’ Oughton is no stranger to Upfest, and indeed I wrote a short post covering his work from Upfest 2017. This artist, from East Anglia, is making a niche for himself with animal studies and illustration, so the Upfest programme notes tell us and this piece certainly covers that territory with a seabird entangled in the tentacles of an octopus.
The colour selections which are calming and serene betray the rather brutal scene which is a skilfully executed juxtaposition. Max Oughton has a great eye for the natural world, and it is great to be able to see his work for two years running.
I think that Max was just tidying up after finishing the piece when I took this last picture…a celebratory fag hanging out of his mouth.