Being in the right place at the right time is a tenet that chimes for street art hunters, and finding this Cheo piece on a yellow van as I hopped off my bus on the way home from work, is a great example of that.
I have never seen this van before, although I expect I’ll keep on seeing it now (that is the way of things) and the bee motif used by Cheo works so very well here. It is a subtle piece of van art, not too showy and only on this one wing of the van. Mobile street art at its best.
When you see a piece like this in blue tones with a dash of white and it is so incredibly clean and tight, you can only stand back in wonder and admire the extraordinary talent of Bristol’s Cheo.
Cheo usually paints character pieces, and I don’t think there is anyone better at creating this cartoon style anywhere in the country. Every line and shadow is immaculate and skilfully laid down. As always he has marked the piece with his signature bee. This was a lovely surprise piece to find in Dean Lane and is another little reminder of the world class street art scene in Bristol.
When Cheo and 3Dom get together for a collaboration it is guaranteed to be interesting and of the highest quality, and so it is with this recent piece in Dean Lane.
The whole piece is a clever section of a Cheo character, the inside workings of which are by 3Dom. The character is a graffiti artist, complete with baseball cap, backpack and spray-paint can, primed to do his best. The innards of the character and his backpack are altogether a little weird.
There is a good chance that the piece may be around for a little while, as both artists are highly respected and the paintwork itself is flawless. Having said that, there are no rules. The final photograph just provides a little context for the wall and its surroundings in the skate park. A treat of a piece.
There is something about Cheo’s work that oozes class. I think it stems from his great compositions and characters, but most of all his incredibly clean lines. The whole thing looks like it has been painted with fat felt tips rather than spray cans.
I love the smoking cat character with his gold chain in the centre of the piece, and I’m not too sure what the white creature on the left is, but he is clearly animated about something.
I struggle to read Cheo’s writing, mainly because he doesn’t simply write ‘CHEO’ which would of course make things much easier. Crazy that I’ve only just posted this one.
It is great to see that VisitBristol (the local tourist authority) is putting its weight behind the creative arts, in particular street art, by commissioning this mural on one of the walls of We the Curious (formerly @Bristol). The idea behind the mural is to increase visits to the city over the Christmas period to boost tourism as this little YouTube video shows.
The artists chosen for the commission are Cheo and Silent Hobo, both of whom have featured on these pages many, many times before. Here they combine to produce this sumptuous Bristol-themed Christmas mural with a whole ton of identifiable Bristol icons.
The left hand side of the mural is mostly the work of Silent Hobo and features the aquarium, the ice rink, the cathedral and harbourside among other things and in the foreground we have a few bristol carol singers representing the two (rival) football teams.
On the right Cheo’s mural includes the Clifton suspension bridge, the zoo, the Christmas market, the M Shed and Isembard Kingdom Brunel (the greatest ever Englishman). The whole thing is surrounded with a golden frame and the whole thing is rather delicious.
Given that street art and graffiti are part of the USP for Bristol, I would love to see VisitBristol and the Council do more of this kind of thing in recognition of the street artists who bring free art to the city rather than locking it down, for example in The Bearpit.
I think I might have said this last year, but somehow Upfest wouldn’t feel like Upfest without a presence from Cheo. One of Bristol’s most established graffiti writers and character street artists, his work is always of the highest quality. Judging from his Instagram account, I think he prepares these pictures on his computer and then recreates scaled up versions, which lends itself to his very clean style with solid fills.
I have seen these characters a few times before. I never quite know what they are, frogs? toothless crocs? monsters? your guess is as good as mine. The writing has a feel of Japanese script to it and from time to time Cheo uses this. I really don’t know what it says, but would guess at CHEO, although I can’t see it myself. He finishes the whole thing off, of course, with one of his signature bees. All good.