Woah, steady on there… I love this crazy piece by Tknaizer. The artist, from Georgia, seems to have a thing for giraffes, and in my mind that is absolutely ok. Who doesn’t love a giraffe?
This piece was painted in North Street Green and had to compete for attention with dozens of others but certainly attracted my attention. There is something endearing and compelling about the simple and naive style. Sometimes less is more. Despite the rather gloomy narrative, I find the giraffe full of optimism and serenity. It is always great to welcome these overseas artists to Bristol and see the range of talent on offer.
Alas, this piece by Mr Penfold did not last long after Upfest, and has since been replaced by a wonderful piece featured on Natural Adventures by SPZero76. The wall is an interesting one in that it is curated by the Hangfire Gallery just opposite, and although the piece appeared during Upfest, I don’t think it constitutes an ‘official’ Upfest piece. I have to say that I am not all that bothered by such things, but I love the abstract work that Mr Penfold has created.
His work has a real feel of the 1980s about it, a vibrancy and brashness that assaults the eyes with colour and shapes that draw attention. The other thing I associate with his work is Liquorice Allsorts, because of the blacks, pinks, light blues and yellows… yum yum.
I have plenty more pieces by Mr Penfold and feel he is somewhat under represented in this blog… I think that’ll have to change.
When I looked at this collaboration for the first time I found it rather peculiar because it carries three very different styles and subject matter and the only common thread at first sight appears to be Upfest. However, this primary assessment rather overlooks several other important factors in creating a good collaboration.
Firstly, I think that the chemistry between collaborators is hugely important which is why for example, SPZero76 and Kid Crayon collaborate brilliantly despite very different styles – they are great collaborating friends. So, in this collaboration between Process, Korp and Winniemmay one can see some good vibes going on. There is also a design thread that carries through the whole piece of black and white dots and dashes, suggesting Morse code (but I think that is me over-thinking it).
The overall outcome is certainly curious and apparently fragmented, but dip in a little further and the whole is probably greater than the sum of the parts. If there is a story here, I’d like to know it, but for me the whole thing stands up for me and it is really interesting piece.
Rounding off this batch of ten Upfest 2016 pieces is this powerful piece by Bram. Depicting a person standing behind a glass barrier, the piece makes a bold statement about refusing refuge, which in 2016 was a huge issue across Europe.
Although the piece on first inspection might seem a little simple, it is in fact beautifully composed and executed, with fine detail on the hands pressed up to the screen, but a murky figure behind the hands is obscured. It is a moving piece and a classic case of less is more, as you try to fill the gaps of the story for yourself.
I know nothing of the artist and have struggled to find out anything from the Interweb.
During Upfest 2016, a few of these beautiful glazed face masks by Gesta Future were placed around North Street and in town too, although from recollection none of them lasted too long before being hacked off, which is unfortunate if not a little predictable.
Gesta Future is an Italian artist who seems to be equally comfortable producing ceramics as he does using spray cans freestyle or with stencils. A versatile artist with great creative ideas. These masks are the only pieces of his that I have seen, but if I go to Italy any time soon, I’ll keep my eyes peeled.
Now here is something of a rarity, a piece of street art by Smak, rather than the graffiti writing we normally associate him with. Smak is an accomplished artist as well as writer as this piece from Upfest 2016 amply demonstrates.
I think this piece is depicting the Gorgon Medusa with her snake locks and stare that turns all who gaze upon her to stone. I think that if the piece had not been signed I would have really struggled to recognise it as a Smak piece. Really great to see something different from this Bristol-based artist.
I think this was the first time I saw anything by Hypo, but I think I might have been somewhat overwhelmed by the anti-May work by Peter Sheridan next to it that this piece passed me by a little. I am glad that I have had time to reflect and dig it out of archive.
I have noticed that Hypo likes to work with a vanishing point in the middle of his work, so that all 3D shading gravitates to the centre. I like the reasonably straightforward graff writing of this piece especially the splashes of white on the corners. At the bottom he recognises Mixie, Expo and Ulow as well as himself. A nice Upfest piece…below is his offering from 2017.