3210. M32 Cycle path (78)

This piece was painted a little while back by Decay, but I decided to dig it out because it marks further experimentation from an artist, who, when I first met him only painted in black, white, red and grey colours. His artistic journey has blossomed over the last three or so years and his pieces are becoming more and more interesting as a result.

Decay, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, August 2020
Decay, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, August 2020

Most unusually, Decay has gone for orange and purple colours with green highlights and arrows. More unusually he hasn’t used black outlines for his letters, although his little Chuck character does have an outline. Spelling out DECAY, I see this piece as pivotal in the artist really pushing himself to try new ideas. I love the orange splashes above the A. Looking forward to more developments.

3140. M32 Cycle path (73)

This might look like a solo piece by Decay, but it is actually a collaboration between Decay and Sludge. Now I don’t know much (or indeed anything) about the latter artist, but it appears the pair teamed up at least twice recently, and this is one of those combined efforts.

Decay and Sludge, M32 cycle path, Bristol, August 2020
Decay and Sludge, M32 cycle path, Bristol, August 2020

The work has all the hallmarks of a fabulous Decay burner painted with some bright colours and the customary red Chuck character, but it is the geometric form in the centre in green and purple and some of the surrounding decorations that have been provided by Sludge. As a whole, the piece is bursting with colour and energy – a confection almost. I love it.

3104. M32 Cycle path (68)

This was a quiet one from Decay that snuck out without fanfare. It is great to see Decay experimenting with some new paint textures and ideas, such as spraying large clouds of paint on the wall as a kind of backdrop to his writing.

Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, July 2020
Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, July 2020

The white shading in the letters has a kind of distressed effect, something interior decorators were particularly fond of in the 1980s. The whole thing is high-class and exactly what you’d expect from Decay. There are two crew names on the piece that are HTM – Hold the Mustard, and LRS – Last Radical Souls, they are a loosely based crew operating all over the world since 2001.

3083. M32 roundabout J3 (239)

When people say to me ‘I didn’t recognise you at first with your beard’ I know that I haven’t seen that person for at least five months, and that was the opening of my conversation with Decay recently at a paint jam at the M32 roundabout recently.

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Not only was it good to catch up, but it was also amazing watching him bring this piece together. One of the first parts that he added was the large splatters of grey paint, using a rather interesting contraption attached to the cap.

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Decay works so effortlessly and with such mastery of his lettering that witnessing this piece coming together was like watching something magical unfold. I believe it to be one of his finest pieces to date and that is a very high bar indeed.

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

There is a lot going on in this piece, but somehow it looks very simple. Perhaps the lack of black outlines for the letters adds to the simple feel, but the complexity lies in the shades of grey and shadows and the injections of colour and shapes. I love this piece, top notch.

3016. St Werburghs tunnel (173)

At the south entrance to St Werburghs tunnel is this wonderful piece from Decay that just kind of appeared under the radar in a modest and quiet way. I love it when that happens, no fanfare, just an appearance… as if by magic.

Decay, St Werburghs, Bristtol, June 2020
Decay, St Werburghs, Bristtol, June 2020

Decay has managed to introduce a gentle and light summery feel to this piece, and a really clever touch is the light grey shadings at the lower half of the letters that give the piece body and lift it out from the wall a little. The more observant of you might notice that this is a BLM piece and the ‘Chuck’ character makes a second appearance on the left hand side wall with BLM speech bubble.

2966. Stokes Croft

This piece from Decay was painted around the time of the introduction of lock down and was a great message for people to take the lock down restrictions seriously. Street artists have definitely played their party in broadcasting good messages during this pandemic. More recently some works are a little more critical of the government’s handling of the situation, but no surprises there.

Decay, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2020
Decay, Stokes Croft, Bristol, May 2020

Decay is such a consistent artist always putting out clean and tidy writing beautifully executed. There is one thing that perplexes me about this piece, and it is the eyes with wings bookending the writing. Are these the work of Decay or another artist? I think it is Decay, but it isn’t quite in his style. Answers on a postcard…

2950. The Bearpit (189)

This piece from Decay in May 2017 was encouraging people to use their vote in the June General Election of that year. An election that resulted in a hung parliament in which the Conservatives ‘bought’ the seats of the DUP to gain the slimmest of majorities, to continue the miserable administration we have become used to for more than a decade. I can’t wait to be shot of them if I am honest. The current Cabinet are an absolutely incompetent shower and the coronavirus outbreak has evidenced their poor decision making, not just during the crisis, but in running down our essential public services for more than a decade. I’ll stop there.

Decay, The Bearpit, Bristol, May 2017
Decay, The Bearpit, Bristol, May 2017

The artwork from Decay is really nice and it is great to have a piece from the artist that is a bit different from his customary writing or concentric pattern work. The three ovals on the left of the Y are a similar feature used by Slim Pickings on his Ts and Ss. A nice political piece.

Slim Pickings, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2019
Slim Pickings, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2019

2939. M32 roundabout J3 (208)

Decay rarely disappoints, and this rather modest chrome piece at the M32 roundabout is a very nicely worked DECAY without too much fuss and frills. Sometimes it is really good to see a ‘basic model’ that reminds us of how good some to the technical decoration adopted actually is.

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2019
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2019

Of course, the piece has  superb 3D shading, beautiful white highlights around the curves  and some nice drips too. Chuck , the E character, looks a little bit grumpy to me in  this piece, and I have seen him happier. A nice sold piece from Decay.

2868. Upper York Street (20)

A whole block of buildings bar one house on Upper York Street has been demolished and the site is being developed. While this meant that some great graff walls disappeared, they have been temporarily replaced with hoardings. A week or two back some Bristol artists hit the hoardings and this piece from Decay was painted then.

Decay, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020
Decay, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020

This is a really nice piece from Decay in which he has adopted a slightly different typeface design from the one we are used to seeing. The red line outline provides a nice 3D effect and the painted drips (as opposed to drippy drips) are a nice touch.

This wall is not easy to photograph due to the big sky above it, and afternoons are very tricky indeed – I have been foolish enough to walk down there on three sunny afternoons! This might explain the slightly washed-out look in these pictures.

2806. St Werburghs tunnel (156)

They just keep coming, don’t they? In this nice piece of graffiti writing from Decay, we see him return to some of his original colouring – famed for his black, white, grey and red colour palette – in this instance replacing white with chrome. It is amazing to see how his work has developed over the last couple of years, and a quick glance at this gallery I put together will give you a feel for that.

Decay, St Werburghs, Bristol, February 2020
Decay, St Werburghs, Bristol, February 2020

I have always had a soft spot for Decay. Apart from being the first street artist I had the courage to talk to while he was painting down in the Bearpit, he is genuinely a really decent bloke who always greets me with a smile whenever I see him. He has become part of the furniture of Natural Adventures, and that is a good thing.