Nice to see you, to see you nice. These are words that, for so many people brought up with the Generation Game, hosted by Bruce Forsyth, will bring back memories of light entertainment television in the 1970s and 1980s. Life seemed so much simpler back then. Three or four TV stations to choose from, precious little to watch after midnight, and some loveable familiar hosts of which one of the very best was Brucie.
Remko, who is of the generation that remembers first-hand, has produced this wonderful stencil of the great man, in which horizontal lines cleverly pick out the entertainer’s features. A classy piece and a classy location. Nice to see you, to see you…
The Bristol Mural Collective, formerly known as the Bristol womxn Mural Collective, is a street painting group organised by women for women, predominantly made up of studio artists who like to hit the streets once in a while. Every time they organise a paint jam, I find myself discovering new artists and a different approach to street art. The most recent paint jam was organised to celebrate world women’s day on March 8, 2023.
This small mural by Cock Dicks (an interesting name) didn’t last very long before it was painted over. It certainly sparked my interest though. The brush painted piece is full of symbolism. Stairways appear a lot in street art, and seem to indicate a spiritual journey to celestial bodies. The pink and blue smoke clouds are obscuring the sun, looking rather less than impressed, and beneath the clouds a crescent moon lights up the night sky. What can it all mean? More to come from this special paint jam.
This is a really classy piece by Klashwhensober, which reveals a raw talent combined with dedication from the artist, developed over the last couple of years. The writing is not as busy as many of his pieces and feels like a moment of clarity, or a pause, in his rapid-fire execution of ‘SOBERs’.
There is a reason that bees and wasps adopt the black and yellow colours, which is to advertise their stinging capability and ward off predators. The colour combination cuts through the chaos of colour all around us. The letters are set on three bubbly patterns in blues, greens and purple/orange, which break through the letters at certain points. It is the SOBER that is the star of the show though painted in a thin yellow font, with a beautifully proportioned black 3D drop shadow, which works so well to create depth to the letters. This is a confident and strong piece from Klashwhensober, one of his best yet.
Daz Cat is no stranger to painting this exact spot on the flat section of wall at the entrance to the tunnel. I like to think that the characters he paints are guardians of the tunnel, protecting the pieces within. Just a little fantasy of mine.
Indeed, Daz Cat reinforces my imaginative interpretation with this ‘Gandalf’ cat and the famous words “you shall not pass”. Daz Cat has come on such a long way over the years and his cats (and dogs) are part of the furniture, with many cat face ‘super tags’ to be found all over the city. A quick squint at this Daz Cat gallery presents, in reverse chronological order, his journey over the last five years.
The Pirate Wall Art (PWA) crew have already produced some outstanding collaborations this year, but this surely has to be the most striking so far. Zake, Chill and Face 1st have teamed up to produce this triptych of stylised faces.
To the left is a curious pair of faces which feel like they are symbolic of something, but I am not quite sure what – sun and moon or light and dark? Who knows. The flower face is something new that I haven’t seen from Zake before, but he carries it off really well.
In the middle of the triptych is a cartoon face by Chill. When Chill moved away from his black and white pieces, I wasn’t sure how long it would last, but I am pleased to say that his inclusion of several colours once again might indicate that this is a new direction of travel for the artist. I love the inclusion of some greenery and flowers in most of his pieces, showing a sensitive connection with nature.
To the right, Face first has painted another group of faces, in which he continues to explore ways of peeling back the layers of our facades to reveal what lies beneath. In this case, the face with yellow hair has been split open to reveal a laughing girl emerging from inside. Some might see these pieces as gory or grotesque, I see them as a joyful exploration of emotions unearthed in a rather surgical, but playful way.
Plenty to think and enjoy about in this fine PWA collaboration.
Ooh! This is a superb throwback piece from Rozalita, who used to be Rosalita, and now prefers the moniker Rohzi. I shall continue to use the name Rozalita. I say this is a throwback piece, because her earlier works were almost entirely influenced by circus or carnival characters, but this is the first one I have seen for a while.
As always with stage makeup, one always wants to know what is going on behind the smiling facade, and Rozalita has captured this duality perfectly in this stunning portrait. I am looking at it and trying to examine the face behind the mask, is she happy, is she sad? The stylised hair adds to the deceit. What a wonderful portrait piece, and one of my favourites of the year so far.
Some artists are so prolific, that the only way for me to keep up with them is to post several pieces at once, and so I present to you a series of column pieces under Brunel Way by monster specialist, Mote.
This first piece is one of his more recent productions, incorporating three wobbly-lined monsters, stacked like a totem pole. The wobbly lines are a recent introduction in his work introduced this year, which give him freedom to be a little bit more creative. I am still sitting on the fence about them, because his original USP was based on the clean lines and bold curves. These might take a little bit of getting used to.
It is difficult to date some of these pieces, because although I photographed them in February (some of them not for the first time), several have been around for quite a while. I think this one, which looks like a bit of a monster mash-up, is relatively recent.
This column piece, with the big eye and wonky teeth, has been around for quite a while, but is surprisingly intact, because these columns are a favourite with taggers.
Another one that might date from the back end of last year is this purple gentle and rather goofy giant. The poor thing doesn’t look in the greatest condition, and has a pot-belly not too dissimilar to my own.
Finally, this is a small piece at the southernmost end of this stretch of columns and is probably the oldest piece in this selection. It obviously pre-dates the new bit of wall that has been added as part of the Daveside DIY skate park extension. Phew… I hope you have had your fill of Mote for now.
Mr Klue has been smashing it in the tunnel this year, and at the time of writing has five pieces there, all of them intact, four of which are adjacent to one another. This is a really unusual state of affairs for the tunnel and speaks to two things; his work is respected and; he manages to paint frequently enough to gain a space advantage over other artists.
This wonderful abstract writing piece picks up on warm and cold colours competing for space, with the bluer colours being top lit and the warmer ones under lit. Spelling out KLUE, the piece also incorporates some floating steps, which are a favoured theme in many of his pieces and sketches. More to come from Mr Klue.