4035. Upfest 2021 75×75 (72)

On the wall adjacent to the recent Irony piece that I posted last week is this Upfest 21 contribution from John Curtis, a well-known Bristol artist who seems to be as comfortable painting large walls as he is with his canvasses.

John Curtis, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21
John Curtis, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21

John Curtis’s USP is recreating Bristol urban landscapes, full of movement and light and chiming with locals because the subjects are usually familiar landmarks. This piece beautifully captures the M Shed and the old cranes that stand to attention on the harbourside.

John Curtis, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21
John Curtis, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21

This sight would warm the hearts of any native of the city and is beautifully captured. A fine contribution to the 75 walls in 75 days event.

This leaves me with only three more pieces to post from Upfest’s 75×75. Two of them I know about, but haven’t yet been able to photograph, but the last one evades me, so I am going to have to do some detective work before I can complete the whole set.

4027. Upfest 2021 75×75 (71)

We have been so spoiled this year with the Upfest 75 walls in 75 days event, and in particular with some extraordinary pieces by Irony. This is the second Irony piece from the event, and is an absolutely extraordinary portrait.

Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21
Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21

Irony is known for his female portraits that it is difficult to keep your eyes off. The photorealistic detail and depth is beyond astonishing, and puts this artist right up into the world top league alongside other artists like Bubblegum in Barcelona.

Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21
Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21

Looking deep into those eyes, it is impossible to know what the girl is thinking, and as with many of his portraits, her emotions are not easy to read, inert almost, and yet she is wonderfully animated. I think the blue hair is a touch of genius that works so well with this wall and this spot.

Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21
Irony, West Street, Bristol, October 2021, Upfest 21

I made several attempts at photographing this wall, but it is not easy as the immediate front yard has become a bit of a building site and there are two rather unhelpful black wheely bins that are totally in the way most of the time.

In my view, this is one of the best pieces to appear in Bristol in 2021.

3937. Upfest 2021 75×75 (60)

This magnificent collaboration was one of the earlier ones to be completed for Upfest’s 75 walls in 75 days summer event, and these pictures have languished in my archives since June. The collaboration is by Koeone and Paul Monsters and plays magnificently to each of their strengths.

Koeone and Paul Monsters, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Koeone and Paul Monsters, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

The beautiful portrait in greyscale is by Koeone and is painted with such care and attention to tones and shading, which brings an incredible calmness and grace to the piece. The hand is amazing, and perfectly in proportion.

Koeone and Paul Monsters, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Koeone and Paul Monsters, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

The overall piece is very typical of a Koeone production, where the hair is separated from the face, being decorated with a highly colourful design or pattern, in this case perfectly painted by Paul Monsters.

Koeone and Paul Monsters, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Koeone and Paul Monsters, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

Paul’s geometric design in greens, blues, purples, browns and oranges lends itself perfectly to a collaboration with Koeone. I think that these two should get together again, because the complementary styles have created something very special here. A lovely collaboration.

3865. West Street (6)

I love this piece. I have driven past it many times but never stopped to study or photograph it. Had I done so, I would have posted it a long time ago. It is by the magnificent American street artist Muckrock, and I presume was painted during a trip she made to the UK and Bristol in September 2018. I have followed her on Instagram since then and am a big fan of her work, so to finally capture this was a major boon.

Muckrock, West Street, Bristol, July 2021
Muckrock, West Street, Bristol, July 2021

Painted doors will always find favour with me and this blue tone piece is an absolute beauty. I think it is a portrait of Tina Turner but I can’t be sure, but Muckrock has made sure we all know who the artist is with her name displayed on the singer’s cheeks. Muckrock has such an easy and accessible style but her pieces can be quite challenging. A brilliant artist and one I would love to see back in Bristol again one day.

Muckrock, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2018
Muckrock, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2018
Muckrock, North Street, Bristol, December 2018
Muckrock, North Street, Bristol, December 2018

3858. Upfest 2021 75×75 (35)

To paint this wall is probably nothing short of highly intimidating. Dan Kitchener and Andrew Burns Colwill Have both painted outstanding murals here, both of which have been much admired. Emily Donald has risen to the challenge and produced this glorious piece that is more than worthy of its predecessors.

Emily Donald, West Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21
Emily Donald, West Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21

Emily Donald, an artist based in Cornwall, is no stranger to Upfest and has previously painted much smaller pieces on 1m boards. This time she has gone large with this stunning aquatic piece and she has done it brilliantly.

Emily Donald, West Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21
Emily Donald, West Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21

Her work is usually wildlife-themed and has a wonderful brush-stroke feel to it. Emily Donald manages to capture and craft light and movement in her work so very well and this aquatic scene is bursting with both. When I took these pictures, there were several other people standing nearby admiring the new mural. Another jewel in Upfest’s crown and another beauty from Emily Donald.

Emily Donald, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Emily Donald, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Emily Donald, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Emily Donald, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

3808. Upfest 2021 75×75 (16)

The quality of artists and their artwork for the Upfest 75 walls in 75 days event has been astonishingly high, and Bristolians are blessed and privileged to have so much free art to enjoy. It is sad therefore, to report that a couple of days ago several of the pieces were badly tagged by some idiot who bears a grudge against Upfest. Don’t think for one second that the irony is lost on me, but the Upfest guest list is of the highest order and their work should be respected. One or two pieces have been repaired, and I hope the others will too. Fortunately this one was too high for the grubby vandal to deface.

TEAone, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest21
TEAone, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest21

This work by TEAone AKA Gavin Renshaw is truly outstanding and has a relaxed rural feel about it. What could be nicer than a musician strumming away in a café scene such as this? I had thought of talking to the artist while he was working on it, but at the moment I was there he didn’t look in the right space for a chat, so I left him to it.

TEAone, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest21
TEAone, West Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest21

The writing spells TONE, TEAone, geddit? And the overall composition has a strong 1950/60s look both in design and colours. Those little iron café chairs are exquisite, and the piece is rounded off perfectly with some clever shading, especially around the hat and face of the musician. This is a superb addition to the 75 walls.

3774. West Street (5)

Upfest is the gift that keeps on giving. By spreading out the 75 artworks over a period of 75 days, people like me, who can be rather lazy, are forced to get out and go to places beyond the usual honeypots, to find new pieces in the Bedminster area. In looking for these new pieces, I have been lucky enough to stumble upon older ones that I have never seen before, such as this beauty by Gage Graphics.

Gage Graphics, West Street, Bristol, June 2021
Gage Graphics, West Street, Bristol, June 2021

This delightful commission is on the shutters of the ‘Mutty Professor’ pet shop, and certainly brings a bit of colour to an otherwise rather bland shopfront. There are two shutters, one over the window and one over the door. In purples and pinks, the piece is of a rather gentle rural landscape with meadows and rolling hills.

Gage Graphics, West Street, Bristol, June 2021
Gage Graphics, West Street, Bristol, June 2021

The large window features a dog and a cat enjoying this landscape in the shade of a tree in blossom and an ash tree (there won’t be too many of those left in a few years). A really nice piece that I definitely wasn’t looking for, which makes it all the more satisfying.

2481. West Street (1)

Six bricks high. What an amazing contrast to the huge version of this same stencil by Dice67 in Cheltenham that I posted yesterday. Dice67 has really dined out on this iconic image of his daughter, but I am not surprised really, it has something very special about it, maybe it is something to do with the little girl’s stance and attitude that we all know so very well (particularly parents).

Dice 67, West Street, Bristol, September 2019
Dice 67, West Street, Bristol, September 2019

I spotted this on West street quite by accident – I really ought to have known it was there on the side of a shop, but it came as a nice surprise to me nonetheless. I suspect it has probably been there for quite some time, but as I have said frequently, I can’t be everywhere all the time and anyhow if I was, there wouldn’t then be any surprises. Gotta love it.

Dice 67, Paint Festival 2018, Cheltenham, September 2019
Dice 67, Paint Festival 2018, Cheltenham, September 2019

1833. West Street (4)

Another fabulous Halloween treat, this time from Kin Dose just a stone’s throw away from Dean Lane skate park, where I left Rusk who had tipped me off about this fresh piece.

Kin Dose, West Street, Bristol, October 2018
Kin Dose, West Street, Bristol, October 2018

I have seen better pictures of this wall from people who were lucky enough to be here when the sun wasn’t casting shadows all over the place. I seem to be making lots of excuses about poor quality pictures at the moment, but I have to take the shots when I can as I never know when I am going to be back, and tagging and turnover are the enemies of archivists.

Kin Dose, West Street, Bristol, October 2018
Kin Dose, West Street, Bristol, October 2018

Kin Dose is an extraordinarily talented artist whose work is always of the highest standard. He doesn’t do an awful lot of street work, but whenever he does it is always beautifully executed. Comfortable with stencils as well as free hand work he really sets a very high bar.

Kin Dose, West Street, Bristol, October 2018
Kin Dose, West Street, Bristol, October 2018

This piece faithfully reproduces characters from Tim Burton’s ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’. It is so crisp and clean and although in partial shade I felt lucky to see it in its first full day of being on this wall. A real beauty.

1490. West Street (3)

This is a lovely mural by Cheo, especially if you happen to be a Bristol City fan. The team are known as the Robins, and Cheo has incorporated this into his tribute to the football club. I’m not entirely sure how long this piece has been here, but I suspect it is several years.

Cheo, West Street, Bristol, April 2018
Cheo, West Street, Bristol, April 2018

One of the surprising things perhaps, or maybe I am just too cynical, is that it hasn’t been vandalised in any way by supporters of the rival Bristol club, Bristol Rovers. I do like it when two of my passions converge like this, but it doesn’t happen as often as one might think (now planning to search my archive for football-related street art). As an Arsenal fan, I have no allegiance to either of the Bristol teams and always want both to do well for the sake of the city.