2210. Stokes Croft

I can’t express how excited I was to see this last week, but it appears that Tian has been on another tour of Bristol and has left dozens of paste ups in the Stokes Croft area. Although He came for Upfest 2016, his last wheatpasting drop was in April 2016 so it has been some time, but how utterly worth the wait.

Tian, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2019
Tian, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2019

Over the next few weeks I will post more of his pieces. Once again he presents us with stencil work that has been printed and pasted up and this first design appears to be a Japanese scene with a geisha. If any of his past work is a guide, the piece is probably taken from a famous film, but I don’t know for sure.

Tian, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2019
Tian, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2019

Unusually for the work of Tian that I have seen, this piece diverges from his normal sepia-toned pieces and in fact if you look carefully there are two different tones of orange used in the versions of this wheatpaste.

Tian, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2019
Tian, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2019

These four paste ups were from various spots on my way to work… what a walk that was. I seem to remember it was raining quite hard but it simply didn’t matter I was in street art appreciation mode.

Tian, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2019
Tian, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2019

Loads more to come from this fabulous French artist.

 

 

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2207. Shoreditch, London (31)

My visit to Shoreditch, London, back in November last year reminded me of a significant difference between the London and Bristol street art scenes. In London, there is a strong wheatpaste movement, and in some places there is barely a square inch of a wall that isn’t covered with a paste up. In Bristol on the other hand, wheatpastes are a rarity, and are normally provided by visitors to the city such as Face the Strange, D7606, Tian, Losthills and of course qWeRT. The last frequent Bristol-based wheatpaster was Kid Crayon, but he has moved on to spray-painting now. I think Kedals might be the only one doing it at the moment – room for some new entrants?

qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

This is a little collection of wonderful googly-eyed paste ups by qWeRT which are dotted all over the place in Shoreditch.

qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

qWeRT’s pieces are always rather cute (a word I rarely use) and endearing, like this one holding up a banner saying simply ‘need more love’.

qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

I have always liked this form of street art and qWeRT’s work in particular.

2136. Prince Street (2)

A new artist for me, Kedals, is one I know precious little about other than that he is a Bristol-based wheatpaster. This is great news, because not too long ago I was bemoaning the lack of wheatpasting in the city. If you go to other cities, there is much more (sometimes too much), but in Bristol it seems to be limited to visiting artists like Tian or qWeRT or Face the Strange or D7606.

Kedals, Prince Street, Bristol, March 2019
Kedals, Prince Street, Bristol, March 2019

This wonderful duo of paste ups shows that the artist is hard working, in that the base drawing is the same, but the rest of the piece is hand drawn, and each one although similar is unique. I have seen this technique used by other wheatpasters, and I really like it. For me it demonstrates love and attention to every piece that is pasted up, rather than doing a print-run of the same thing and posting it everywhere.

The style is quirky and there is a story going on here. I have seen one or two more pieces by Kedals and will be keeping my eyes peeled from now on. Very nice.

2108. Upfest 2018 (135)

At the launch of the ‘Cannon Fodder’ show last Friday I was lamenting the lack of wheatpaste artists in Bristol with Jimmer Willmott. It was Kid Crayon’s brilliant wheatpastes dotted around the city that inspired me to write about street art in the first place, but he has moved away from the form. However, what was very exciting was that Jimmer said he was thinking about doing some… now that would be amazing.

The exception to the rule occurs during upfest, when wheatpasters descend on North Street and festoon walls and lamp posts with their paste ups. One of the frequent visitors I look forward to each year is Face the Strange, and who can blame me with pieces like this one?

Face the Strange, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Face the Strange, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Face the Strange challenges the viewer by presenting ordinary images, often models from magazines, that have had major head surgery. This bizarre piece combines a suited worker with a seahorse… but of course why not? I am a big fan of this kind of distortion, particularly when combined with marine life. Fun.

2068. Shoreditch, London (27)

I have only seen Ant Carver’s work at Upfest, so it was with some excitement that I found this wheatpaste piece by him during my extensive stroll around Shoreditch. His style is instantly recognisable and all the better for having witnessed the way he builds his work up at Upfest 2018.

Ant Carver, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
Ant Carver, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

This was not the only wheatpaste by Mr Carver that I found on this particular walk and It will give me great pleasure to share the other one with you soon. It comes as no surprise that it is the eyes that captivate the audience in his pieces, and it must have something to do with the way he builds his pictures up. Great work.

2022. Stokes Croft

Something a bit different today. Where Stokes Croft and City Road meet, there are some poster frames on a wall, which I think have been installed by the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC). The posters here could easily be mistaken for the random advertising we are subjected to on a daily basis and which we tend to ignore and filter out as white noise. But take a slightly closer look and you’ll see something quite different.

Unknown artist, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2019
Unknown artist, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2019

I don’t know who the artist(s) is/are that put these posters together, but I thoroughly enjoy seeing them when I walk past. Often with some political undertone the wry humour shines through. The first is of a spoof Evening Standard (check the spelling) billboard, stating that ‘things can only get bitter’ a direct reference to the current Brexit crisis that continues to divide the country.

Unknown artist, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2019
Unknown artist, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2019

The next poster shows a portrait of David Cameron with paper peeling off where his face is to reveal large corporate office blocks (banks?) behind – surely they are not suggesting the ex PM was driven by capitalist ideology..?

Unknown artist, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2019
Unknown artist, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2019

The third poster is a commentary on the ‘social media brain drain’ with a character, loosely based on Mickey Mouse encouraging people to look up from their phones. I wonder how many people look up and read this poster…not many I would guess.

All of these posters are provocative and humorous and I’ll keep looking out for more. Perhaps I’ll get lucky and find out who is behind them too.

2010. East Village, New York (3)

Have a beautiful day! Wandering around East Village early in the morning before the rest of the family got up pretty much guaranteed that I would have a beautiful day, and that was before we’d even thought about sightseeing. Finding wheatpastes by Phoebe New York simply added to my state of happiness.

Phoebe New York, East Village, New York, October 2017
Phoebe New York, East Village, New York, October 2017

It is difficult to have regrets when you manage to see so much street art, but I know that there was a whole bunch more that I missed. Perhaps we’ll just have to go back again some day. Some of the Phoebe New York paste ups were really faded and looked rather less sophisticated than her more recent work, so I am guessing that some were already quite old.

Phoebe New York, East Village, New York, October 2017
Phoebe New York, East Village, New York, October 2017

Her modus operandi seems to be relatively straightforward…a PNY head stuck onto a cut-out of a model from a magazine and a message of some sort. It is a great idea, but the equally clever bit is in finding a great place to paste the piece up. Various doorways seemed to be favourite, although competition for space can be ferocious at times.

Phoebe New York, East Village, New York, October 2017
Phoebe New York, East Village, New York, October 2017

The first time I came across Phoebe New York was at Upfest 2016, but I have a feeling that she might not have travelled all the way over to Bristol but could have had an accomplice who pasted her pieces up…only a hunch. It matters not, I love her work to pieces.