Upfest 2018 the best of the street art boards

Upfest is a festival which is all about street art and we’ve already shared our Top 25 best murals from the event. The truth is though there were so many artists and art to choose from that it was a difficult list to compile.

Difficult because by it’s very nature street art is best seen on a wall and so our list was really always going to be bias towards those. The bigger the better as the saying goes. Indeed, it is often the large scale murals which get all the attention particularly as those are the walls that will be there for a while.

Majilina Upfest
The Italian artist Majilina painting inside the Ashton Gate Football Stadium

PAINTING AROUND UPFEST

But the fact is that the real action at these sorts of events tends to happen in the painting areas away from the main walls. The South Street Park, the Ashton Gate Football Stadium, the courtyard of the Spotted Cow pub and St. Francis’s churchyard all hosted artists who were painting boards.

Smaller in scale and often crammed together, the artists are easier to access and to talk to. For a festival like this, which relies on the public enjoying the work and interacting, this is crucial. The average art fan can wander round, soak up the atmosphere and get to know the artists on a much more intimate level.

Airborne Mark
Airborne Mark, part way through painting his origami snake in the South Street Park

THE NEXT GENERATION

One thing that really stands out about this years festival was the amount of kids enjoying the art. Often seen moving from artist to artist with their black books. They would wait patiently, books at the ready for the artists to notice them. They would delight over a tag or a little sketch, a memento of the day and quite possibly the seed for a greater interest in art and urban art being planted. You can’t really get that when your three story’s high on a scaffold.

But enough lyrical waxing! This post is about celebrating the best of the boards, or at least the ones that caught our eye and the art of Upfest. We’ve selected a few of our favourites so have a look and see what you think.

Upfest 2018 Gallery

Airborne Mark
Another excellent origami piece from Airborne Mark.
Akse Upfest
A portrait of Frida Kahlo from Akse
Anna Jaxe Upfest
Multi-layered stencil from Anna Jaxe.
Annika Wilkinson upfest
A face peering through the haze from Annika Wilkinson
Green Bow Tie Works Upfest
‘You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop” – Green Bow Tie Works
Bronik Upfest
Bronik from Barcelona with one of her women inspired by her Peruvian heritage
Daub Upfest
Some brilliant random creatures made from lines by Daub
Dedd Ringa Upfest
Great piece from Dedd Ringa
Dice SixtySeven Upfest Alyssa Carson
Dice SixtySeven was inspired by the words of Alyssa Carson who is aimed to be the first person on Mars
Dima Kashtalyan Upfest
Incredible detail in this piece from Belarussian illustrator Dima Kashtalyan.
Elalfil Upfest
Cool graphic piece from Elalfil
Georgie Upfest
We normally know Bristol based artist Georgie because of her paste ups. Here however she created an impactful freehand portrait
Goya Torres Upfest
Mexican artist Goya Torres painted one of her identifiable portraits
Gums and Tongues Upfest
The Gums & Tongues crew got together and once more painted an epic mural. The Simpsons theme taking inspiration from the wider festival which had sponsorship from the show
GretL Upfest
GretL from Angers in France with a Tiger hidden in the forest
Jane Mutiny Upfest
Jane Mutiny’s art raises awareness of animals at risk of extinction such as the tiger
Kaldea Upfest
Very cool piece from Kaldea
Matt Tieu Upfest
A nice piece from Matt Tieu ‘We are still friends’ referencing the UK’s relationship with the EU
Mazcan Upfest
Brighton based Mazcan did a couple of pieces including this
Majilina Upfest
Italian Majilina is known for her colour palette and her depictions of nature
Michel Velt
Dutchman Michel Velt
Peachzz Upfest
Peachzz from Sheffield has a bright vibrant style
Pikto Art Upfest
A child with a cherry from Pikto Art
Sophie Long Upfest
Lovely piece from Sophie Long who drew attention to the ever dwindling number of the bees
Splintered Studios Upfest
‘Every Girl who could have the power will have the power’ – Another great piece from Stephen Quick aka Splintered Studios
Sr. X Upfest
Stalin and Mickey Mouse, a typically ironic piece from Sr. X
Vanessa Longchamp Upfest
Vanessa Longchamp is back and produced two pieces in Bristol
zasedesign upfest
Zase Design was painting a main wall last year but didn’t disappoint despite moving down in scale this time

For more pictures from Upfest 2018 take a look at our top 25 best murals here. For photos and commentary on the 2017 festival click here. To learn more about the street art in North Street Bristol and in the wider area, click on the links. For more pictures from Upfest 2018 also check out Blocal Blog here.

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