One of the privileges that wheatpasters have is that they can spend lots of time in the studio conceiving and preparing their work, and only a few minutes pasting it up. That is not to say it is in any inferior to any other kind of street art, it is just different and requires different skill sets. Perhaps the most challenging part is finding the exact right spot to paste a piece up, and in this instance, Face the Strange has nailed it with this large expanse of red brick wall.
The piece itself is a clever reworking of Waddington’s Cluedo in which each of the characters have been given the Face the Strange treatment and have heads relating to their names. I really rather like this concept piece as did many other visitors to the festival who were gathered round it. This artist’s name says it all really.
Whenever qWeRT comes to town there is always an exciting trail of wheatpastes hidden in the back streets of Bristol. I am constantly on a quest to find them, but know there are some I will never find.
This one is on the pillar of a car park, which adjoins a former church and so is entirely appropriate to its environs. Jesus is rarely depicted in street art, which is peculiar in a way, because in years gone by he has been the subject of countless murals, inside and outside. This is a wonderful piece…a googly eyed Jesus – not something you see every day.
Only a few days ago I posted some work by qWeRT in Cortona, Italy that must have been pasted up some years ago, judging by the shift in style (and also the fact that the Italian pieces were signed QWERTY). This is much more what qWeRT’s stuff looks like at the moment.
I love this particular wheatpaste with our googly eyed hero riding a scooter, and seeming so right for this particular area. The door is really quite a messy scrawl of tags, and indeed I think I must have walked past this piece several times before I actually noticed it…it is fairly well camouflaged. Hurrah for qWeRT coming to Bristol and leaving us these little presents dotted about the place.
It is an extraordinary thing to travel to a foreign land and enjoy all that feels exotic and different, to bathe in a culture and history so different from your own. More extraordinary still is to stumble upon the familiar in such a context, but that is exactly what I did on a recent visit to Cortona in Tuscany.
Of course, while walking through the streets of the town I needed no encouragement to take a peek down the side streets to see what surprises might lurk. I have to say that wheatpastes by qWeRT were not exactly what I had in mind, but that is precisely what I found.
Altogether I think I discovered five pasteups by this ‘Natural Adventures’ regular, each in a different stage of decay. I would guess that these had been up for a few years, and I find it all rather touching that the civic authorities haver chosen not to take them down.
What also interests me is that there are copies of the same wheatpastes, but they appear each to have been hand painted separately rather than printed. I admire qWeRT’s choice of destination for these wheatpastes and am thrilled to have inadvertantly found them.
It also looks like qWeRT has dropped the Y from the signature since pasting these up.
To celebrate 10 years of Upfest (I can’t believe I have only been to three of them) D7606, a wheatpaster and I guess unofficial artist at the festival scattered ten paste up balloons, each with a famous face, high up on the main streets of Bedminster.
These are the first two that I found, one with Twiggy and the other with Elizabeth Taylor. Finding each was like a prize, and the hunt was great fun. I bumped in to D7606 several times over two days and as ever, he was very happy to talk about his work and experiences.
I love the addition of a string to each of the balloons which was loose and able to blow around in the breeze. D7606 told me he had to paste them high up, so that they didn’t get pulled down. Several of them have gone already, but not to trophy hunters, rather, they have been pasted over with new advertisements. These balloons were a worthy addition to the 10th Upfest…hats off to D7606.