It’s Upfest, it’s crowded, it’s noisy and it’s here where we’ve arranged to meet Caro Pepe the street artist from Argentina who now lives in Berlin but who has come over to the UK to paint at Europe’s largest street art festival.
The spot she’s been given is in the courtyard of the Tobacco Factory in South Bristol and a venue at the heart of the entire festival. It’s so busy around here there’s a one way system for the public to be ushered around the artists as they paint for our pleasure on the walls of the courtyard.
Caro is there and has been all day. She’s been to the city before though and her work is always appreciated. A piece of hers from last year still exists on a shutter a bit further down from where we are now but for us it was a bit further away in Camden where we first noticed her work. There on the walls of the Ferdinand Estate she has a piece which stands out amongst a host of other great artworks.
This time for her visit to Bristol she tells me she plans to paint three times, firstly a shutter the evening before the event and then at the Tobacco Factory and finally on a wall opposite the Masonic Pub on North Street. With her is Age Age, her collaborator and real life partner. Their styles gel when they paint on the street, her feminine imagery aligned with his robotic shapes go well together and make for a striking series of pieces.
It’s loud though, boy is it loud, not conducive to an interview. I record them now you see and you can see the interviews on our Youtube channel. It’s not quite the dizzy heights of the millennial youtubers but I’m giving it a go and you can get a message across pretty quickly. That said, when it’s this loud it’s pretty hard to hear yourself think never mind conduct an interview, but do it we must.
Caro’s signature is the one eyed girl, she paints her everywhere she goes on the walls and in the studio and on canvas. Her pallette is full of pastel too giving her a dreamlike aura, I think it must have been the one eye which drew me to her work in the first place, it’s different and I wanted to know more.
The resultant interview in the middle of the busiest section of Europe’s biggest street art festival is quick and to the point. She tells me that she loves painting over in England as the public are generally appreciative to her work. She also tells me about the eye, or the lack of it, and it’s meaning.
Ultimately the image symbolises proportionality and the lack of the eye is meant to show how we only ever see one part of reality. The one eye is about being only focused on one thing, on our own emotions and truths although in life this is not the whole picture. Caro’s work is about telling us to look beyond our own inner world into the world outside and to look at life with two eyes not one.
Amongst hundreds of other artists at Upfest Caro’s work stands out. The quality is high but it says something when she comes to the festival and ends up painting in three spots, two of which are prime locations. Caro’s work is something we are going to keep looking out for.
Caro Pepe was interviewed at the Upfest street art festival in Bristol on 29 July 2017. To see more art from Upfest check our Top 20 Artworks to see at Upfest article to see some excellent pieces of street art. To learn more about where to see street art in Bristol have a look here.
Caro Pepe Gallery