3866. M32 roundabout J3 (339)

The giant has awoken. For much of the lockdown period Soker had kept a low profile, with only two or three pieces painted over a very long period. Thankfully that lean time has come to an abrupt end and in the last couple of months Soker has graced us with his presence once again with some superb graffiti writing.

Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2021
Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2021

This is a lovely piece spelling out SOKEM, a variant of  his usual SOKER. So much colour and energy is contained in this piece and it has been painted, as we expect, with consummate expertise. More to come from Soker… when I have a moment.

3832. Upfest 2021 75×75 (25)

I feel another ear worm coming on. What is it with these street artists and music anyway…? Inkie has returned to his native Bristol to paint for Upfest, as he does every year and this time he was handed a nice new wall to play with.

Inkie, Argus Road, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21
Inkie, Argus Road, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21

I have a feeling that Kylie sand this line followed with ‘na na naa, na na na na na, na na naa’ if my memory serves me well. I suspect that Inkie’s reference might be a different one. The piece itself is rather special, with the words written out in the big hair of the female character, and a lot of mystery in the air. No features on the woman’s face and a question mark medallion around her neck. I’m not sure hat the reference ’84 21′ is, although that might be the dates that Inkie started painting and today.

Inkie, Argus Road, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21
Inkie, Argus Road, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21

Although the basic design ideas are there from Inkie, I feel like the piece is a bit of a departure from his normal style, particularly the block letters. Excellent stuff.

3750. M32 Spot (116)

Ooh! a mouthwatering, commentary collaboration piece by 3Dom and Sled One taking up a large stretch of the Skate Spot wall at the top end of Stapleton Road. This spot is often taken up by ‘top end’ art work and is favoured by the ASK crew, and when you see something like this it is easy to see why.

Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021
Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021

The first time I passed by, Sled One was still painting his half of the collaborative wall while 3Dom had departed and was due to return later or the following day to tidy up. We stopped and chatted for a while before he continued with the piece. His work is extraordinary and his talent is there for all to see.

Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021
Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021

The two halves of the collaboration represent a stark contrast between the choices we have as citizens of planet earth. We can work with the planet which is reflected in Sled One’s contribution or we can destroy it through the pursuit of material wealth and greed. It is interesting how the choice of colours can set a tone or a mood and Sled One’s ‘mother earth’ character is full of positivity and hope. The only out is in.

3Dom, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021
3Dom, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021

3Dom got the short straw and his half of the piece is a portrayal of capitalism and greed where the earth is to be divided up like a cake for profit. The cigar-puffing pig is brilliantly painted and instantly creates a sense of disgust and loathing. Dark satanic mills be here.

3Dom and Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021
3Dom and Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021

What an outstanding collaboration of contrasts from two of Bristol’s top street artists.

3689. Brunel Way (103)

I have kept it as no secret that I have been struggling to keep on top of the sheer amount so street art and graffiti that is being painted in Bristol at the moment. I find myself constantly looking back into my monthly archives to see if there are any gems I have missed. Once I have hung up my camera for the last time, I will still have plenty of material to post, albeit historical.

Ments, Brunel Way, Bristol, April 2021
Ments, Brunel Way, Bristol, April 2021

This is a gorgeous piece from Ments, painted in April, that shows off his talents perfectly, incorporating his newer techniques with his older organic style of writing. Believe it or not, these abstract forms actually spell out MENTS although it takes a bit of creative thinking to make out some of the letters. A very nice piece indeed that fully deserved its moment in the spotlight last month. Blame the backlog.

3638. M32 roundabout J3 (311)

One of the things that I really like about Sled One’s work is that everything seems so effortless, and as a result, his pieces are immersive and compelling in a way that other pieces might be static and boring. As usual, even his writing seems to have a story to tell.

Sled One, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021
Sled One, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021

This ASK – After Skool Klub – piece is rather cute and engaging. The letters reveal an eye, a mouth, a daisy-chain garland and a hand with a peace gesture and the whole thing is a little bit ‘peace and love, man’ but so incredibly easy on the eye. This artist is the best at turning the inanimate into imaginable living things. Gotta love this one.

3631. St George skate park (13)

Sled One is a great champion for the ASK crew, and will often paint these animated letters in his inimitable style that creates so much movement and character. This is one of two such recent pieces.

Sled One, St George, Bristol, April 2021
Sled One, St George, Bristol, April 2021

The skate park at St George doesn’t have the best graffiti walls, most of the site is rolling mounds and shallow bowls, but this ramp and one at the other end offer graffiti artists some decent opportunities. This vibrant ASK would most likely have been freestyled and I imagine fairly quickly, such is the skill and talent of Sled One. More like this coming soon.

3600. M32 roundabout J3 (302)

Soker is an incredibly versatile writer, managing to conjure up no end of extraordinary styles for his usual SOKER letters, but this piece is, in my view, an extra special one produced during a recent birthday celebration paint for Sled One.

Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

The colourful letters are framed within a beautiful flowery border that oozes pure class. It doesn’t take much more than the slightest glance to see that this is a masterful piece with an outstanding overall design, beautifully crafted fills and superb finishing. A supreme piece of graffiti writing.

3596. St Paul’s

Bright sun is my enemy (only in the context of photographing street art, you understand), it adds the kind of interest to a piece that I could well do without, in this case the ‘interest’ is a blooming huge shadow cast across this magnificent corner piece by Sepr.

Sepr, St Paul's, Bristol, March 2021
Sepr, St Paul’s, Bristol, March 2021

Sepr always has been and continues to be on fire with his distinctive cartoon style of character-based pieces and this one is a masterpiece. The central character is a Pied Piper playing on a flute, surrounded by an entranced troop of rats (mice?).

Sepr, St Paul's, Bristol, March 2021
Sepr, St Paul’s, Bristol, March 2021

The rats appear to be dancing to the tune of the piper, seemingly under his/her spell while a bird nonchalantly looks on eating some popcorn. How on earth does Sepr come up with narratives like this? He is a master storyteller, and we are blessed in Bristol that he decorates our walls so beautifully and frequently.

3590. M32 roundabout J3 (299)

This piece was part of an ASK paint jam that I believe had been organised to celebrate Sled One’s birthday. What a great way to spend the day, painting with your friends and being creatively active. This is a classic surreal character piece from Sled One and illustrates perfectly his extraordinary ability to tell stories with his art.

Sled One, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Sled One, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

A seaside scene in which a crab is eating a mint choc-chip ice cream, or at least was, but the ice cream has toppled off and has been replaced by seagull poop, which is all rather disgusting. The gull, not content with providing his own Mr Whippy, is also breaking wind. Charming. The characters are beautifully painted, and the crab shadow lifts the whole piece from the wall. Fabulous, seaside humour.

3581. M32 roundabout J3 (298)

UPDATE

Thank you, Paul H for correcting my assumption that this piece was by Sled One. It is in fact by 3Dom, and was painted to celebrate Sled One’s birthday paint jam. In terms of the rest of the post, everything I wrote about Sled One is applicable to 3Dom. I will leave the post as originally written, because it is important to recognise how difficult it can be sometimes to get things wrong…

This wonderful piece of writing from Sled One is actually one half of a collaboration with himself, which in retrospect I ought to have posted as one, but without thinking I have split into two. Both elements of his work were part of an ASK painting session a couple of weeks back.

3Dom, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
3Dom, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

Given that Sled One usually freestyles his work, which means he doesn’t paint from a design on a piece of paper in front of him, but with the freedom of his own mind, there is an extraordinary ease, confidence and flow that demonstrates his gift. Sled One is a truly gifted artist whose distinctive surreal creativity puts him in the highest echelons of character artists in Bristol (and beyond), and he is a great writer too. This is a fairly straightforward piece of writing, but often his writing is enhanced with character-like elements. Turning the inanimate into the animate is a speciality.