You may recall that I posted paste ups of a mouse and a cat by 23 Magpies recently. Well here is another one of the treats that she left behind at Upfest. This time, always on a wildlife theme, we are presented with a charming wheatpaste of a newt drawn onto the cover of an Ian Maclaren title page.
Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush was Ian Maclaren’s first story about rural Scottish life. I have no idea if this is of any significance to the piece by 23 Magpies, or if it is a random bit of book used as a background context for the little newt. Whatever the intention, the execution is once again excellent. I think there may be more to come from 23 Magpies in these Upfest posts.
There is something dark, political and edgy about What Have I Done Now’s work. His paste ups are full of menace, like this one (called laugh riot) of a riot police figure, waving a US flag and adorned with Mickey Mouse ears. Taking a swipe at some attitudes in a small wheatpaste without words is part of the skill of this kind of street art.
This piece was situated in the small lane at the bottom end of Dean Lane skate park where it joins North Street. I think some bits of it still remain. I have also found in my Upfest archive his ‘official’ piece for the festival and I will post it shortly.
This is one for the fans of political street art, an art form that seems to be slightly out of vogue at the moment.
This wonderful piece appeared a few days after Upfest had ended, and I guess Feoflip decided to stick around and improve some bare walls. I really love this piece, the soft pastel colours give the piece the look of an illustration. The character looks like it has just walked off the pages of a children’s picture book. I would love to read that story.
Feoflip was unknown to me before Upfest, but I have now seen several of his pieces all over Bristol, and will be sharing them over the coming weeks. He is fast becoming one of my favourite artists. I love the combination of organic and mechanical, it works very well, as with his piece at Ashton Gate School.
The more observant reader may also notice the Gregos mask just to the left of this piece which I wrote about last year.
Without question, one of the highlights of this year’s Upfest was this magnificent mural by the fabulous Louis Masai. His works are nearly always highlight threats to the environment or endangered species and on that ticket alone he ranks highly in my own personal favourite artists.
His recent murals have featured animals painted with a patchwork quilt kind of effect, and in this case the rhinoceros is being stitched together by a honey bee and a bumble bee.
Louis Masai, Redpoint, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Louis Masai, Redpoint, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
It is difficult not to be impressed with this work, and not surprisingly Louis Masai’s status in the street art world has grown in the last year or two.
Definitely, definitely in my top five pieces from this year’s festival. It is a pity that it is slightly off the beaten track as many visitors to Upfest will have missed it. The piece is on the Redpoint Bristol Climbing Centre on Winterstoke Road.
It would be great if he could return next year, although I’m not sure he could better this one.
Seeing Bristol street artists’ work at Upfest just felt right. In amongst all the exotic invitees to the festival were the artists that put Bristol on the map in the first place. If there wasn’t a street art scene here in the first place then there would be no festival.
This cheeky piece by Kid Crayon is yet another great work by one of my favourite Bristol street artists. I read, I think on KC’s Instagram feed, that he was not happy with the piece and that the sun had played havoc with his spray cans. Havoc or not, KC never fails to please, with his bright colours and Picassoesque ‘blue’ figures. Keep them coming!
C3 is a street artist I admire very much. The distinctive cut out pasteups C3 produces were very much in evidence at Upfest along the hotly contested spots of North Street. There wasn’t a biography of C3 in the Upfest programme, so I am not certain that the works were entirely official, which in my mind makes them all the better.
The work of C3 will often feature, as in this wheatpaste, a backdrop of newspaper, typically with an image of a woman in black ink and red hair. Instantly recognisable and each telling a story of love or heartbreak. Since seeing C3’s work in Bristol, I have photographed a whole lot more in Shoreditch, which I will share soon. Worth a quick squint at C3’s website too.
One of the best things about my personal journey into the world of graffiti art and street art has been the discovery and continuing observation of Tom Miller. Tom is a fine artist who has turned his hand, like many others, to the street and with stunning results.
This work was produced for Upfest, and I managed to catch him just as he was signing the piece. Some great shots, but my intrusion came at the expense of a film maker who has been following Tom for a couple of years…I got in the way a bit…oops.
All was ok though as we have a mutual interest in Tom,’s work, and my accidental ‘photobomb’ was forgiven.
Tom’s work is centered around his construct of ‘imaginite’ which is, I think, the idea of capturing the mind’s thoughts in art. A fabulous concept, and one that draws heavily on the Surrealist movement. I just love his work and this is a beauty.