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.
Yet another fine collaboration between Cheo and Soker – these two seem to be on something of a roll at the moment, producing countless pieces all over the city of Bristol. This one perfectly fills the space on the hoardings in front of a new development.
The piece is bookended by a pair of mischievous spray can characters painted by Cheo, and in the middle of all of this is a dazzling piece of writing by Soker which spells out SUMOE. I guess I should know what sumoe is all about, but alas I have no idea. There is a whole bunch of #sumoe graffiti Instagram, most of it in the USA.
Cheo has pretty much nailed it with his bookends as he seems to with pretty much everything he does. With their dark furry eyebrows, there is something of the Muppets in his characters. Of course we are also graced with the presence of one of his signature bees.
Soker’s writing is composed primarily of four horizontal layers ranging from light blue at the top through to light purple at the bottom, each layer smattered with accents or decoration. He has also worked quite an unusual double 3D shadow cast by the letters. This is a great collaboration from this ASK duo, and well worth the trip to Raleigh Road.
It is always nice to go to a regular haunt, in this case Dean Lane, and find something completely unexpected. It feels like getting a present or something like that and on this occasion the treat was from Cheo. I especially like this because Cheo can pretty much choose any wall he likes but will still come back to Deaner and slap up a high quality piece.
All the elements you would expect from Cheo – crystal clean lines, solid fills and clever shadows on a character brandishing a spracan all topped off with a trademark bee. A nice treat on a lunchtime walk.
Cheo is a Bristol (and beyond) street art legend, and his involvement in Upfest is always eagerly anticipated. In the last few years Cheo has been quite dominant at the festival, so this year’s rather modest participation came as a bit of a surprise, his piece however reached all the high standards you expect to see from him.
Are we supposed to guess at who is hidden under the paper bag? My immediate assumption, given the Simpsons theme of the festival is that it is the mischievious Bart, but I may be wide of the mark and there may be another story going on here.
Somehow Upfest simply wouldn’t feel like Upfest without some contribution from Cheo, and it is great to see his work on a wall that he obviously enjoys, as he has had several pieces on this wall outside the Bristol Standard, in the past. Great stuff.
This is what you get when you pair up two of Bristol’s finest writers and character artists, Dibz and Cheo.THis is a supreme collaboration with Dibz supplying the writing and Cheo paint
The whole piece is extra sharp and just amazingly well painted and I love the way thet Goofy almost seems to lean out of the wall, a hip hop goofy at that fully kitted out with medallion and baseball cap.
I managed to get down to see this piece quite quickly, but the margins had already been tagged – I think that might be a naughty Oner tag in the top left. Typical Bristol brilliance for all to see.
This is a lovely mural by Cheo, especially if you happen to be a Bristol City fan. The team are known as the Robins, and Cheo has incorporated this into his tribute to the football club. I’m not entirely sure how long this piece has been here, but I suspect it is several years.
One of the surprising things perhaps, or maybe I am just too cynical, is that it hasn’t been vandalised in any way by supporters of the rival Bristol club, Bristol Rovers. I do like it when two of my passions converge like this, but it doesn’t happen as often as one might think (now planning to search my archive for football-related street art). As an Arsenal fan, I have no allegiance to either of the Bristol teams and always want both to do well for the sake of the city.