Upfest 2017 promises to be the brightest and best yet as the world-renowned festival returns to South Bristol with a jam-packed line-up of artistic talent from across the globe. This year’s artist line-up has been confirmed and hundreds of talented artists from across the globe will be hitting the streets of Bedminster and Southville from Saturday 29 to Monday 31 July.
With over 700 applications received from over 50 countries and fresh off the back of the news that Pahnl will be this year’s festival artist, Upfest has now announced major additions to its artistic line-up with the likes of Kobra (Brazil), Buff Monster (New York), Pantonio (Portugal), Eelus (Brighton), Nomad Clan (Manchester), Filthy Luker (Bristol), Will Barras (Birmingham) Xenz (Hull) and Bristol legends Cheo, Cheba, Inkie, Jody and Voyder, who’ll be painting alongside the other 350 amazing artists who have been confirmed today.
Image © Cheo
Brazilian mural artist Kobra’s work utilises bright colours, bold lines and a kaleidoscope theme. The Brazilian’s ability to achieve hugely realistic scaled up portraiture while retaining a playful and colourful theme serves for a striking contrast.
New York-based artist Buff Monster also joins the line-up. A tireless creator who cites heavy metal, ice cream, pop art, Japanese culture and graffiti as his major influences, Buff Monster’s work has been shown in galleries around the world, including a piece in the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.
Portuguese artist Pantonio is known for his huge multi-dimensional murals depicting characterised animals in a swirling mass of tentacles and colour. Pantonio is one of Portugal’s biggest names in street art and finds influence from all aspects of Lisbon’s cultural offering.
Representing Manchester is Nomad Clan, the internationally acclaimed duo of Cbloxx and AYLO. Known for their unique style, the duo has a knack for combining playful scenes with local heritage, so that the mural has strong significance to the environment it’s in.
Filthy Luker, known throughout Bristol for his enormous inflatable tentacle installations at the RWA and more recently St Pauls is back to play to his home crowd. Growing up just a stone’s throw from St Pauls, Filthy Luker works in a variety of mediums including paint, mouldable foams, latex and even taxidermy; who knows what to expect this year, just know that it will be big!
The Bristol link is strong this year as three of the city’s original street art pioneers return to their old stomping grounds. Eelus, XENZ & Will Barras, were all drawn to Bristol in the 90’s and during this period firmly cemented themselves as originators of the Bristol street art culture.
London-based artist, illustrator and animation director Will Barras, who left his hometown of Birmingham to study graphic design in Bristol, also joins the artist line-up. Barras was part of the new crop of artists working in Bristol’s street art scene in the 90’s and appeared in Ric Blackshaw & Liz Farrelly’s ‘Scrawl’ a seminal book documenting the new movement in street art, graphic and illustration.
Eelus produces incredible murals in vivid colour and stark monochrome and has exhibited extensively across the globe alongside the very best in the contemporary street art scene. Then there’s XENZ, who marvellously combines fine art with urban scrawl to produce fantastic dreamscapes, or nightmare worlds.
Bristol street art legends Inkie, Cheba, Cheo, Jody & Voyder also return to the festival. Each has produced some astounding individual pieces for Upfest throughout the years, from larger than life portraits, deep-space landscapes and enormous Mr Men murals. These five artists have been firm festival favourites since the very beginning and Upfest visitors can always expect the exceptional from these street art legends.
Once again Upfest 2017 will be used as a platform for fundraising for The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) which offers aid and assistance for children growing up in families affected by alcoholism.
There are still many more artists to be announced, so for information and updates on Upfest 2017, artist profiles as well as the gallery visit upfest.co.uk or follow the festival @Upfest on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Featured image © Buff Monster