3851. M32 Cycle path (135)

One of Bristol’s most prolific writers of recent years has recently moved out of the city, and don’t we know it. There was a time when hardly a week would go by without a new piece from Decay, but now they are something of a rarity. This one was painted alongside LRS crew fellow Eman a little while ago.

Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2021
Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2021

Decay seems to reinvent his basic design every year or so, and this is his 2021 look with the letters D and K and a more prominent ‘Chuck’ character in the middle. There are some lovely design features in this writing, and I love the neon pink triangle on the K. I hope that as things return a little bit to a new normal, Decay will be able to come in to Bristol a little bit more often, his work is missed.

3606. M32 roundabout J3 (303)

In the world before COVID-19, if you can remember that far back, Decay was painting walls at will, and the high frequency of his new pieces at times made it difficult to photograph and post them. Then everything changed and we entered into a dystopian present overseen by charlatans. There seems to be such a strong correlation between demagogue leaders and appalling mis-handling of the health crisis.

Apart from a few pieces over the last year, Decay seems to have gone to ground a bit.

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021

This recent piece is something of a rarity, not only because Decay hasn’t painted much, but also because of the introduction of a new design. Chuck, the little character, remains. This is another Kill the Bill piece, which stands up for the rights of people who live in mobile accommodation, which Priti Patel appears to want to crush, along with a whole raft of other human rights. She really is a dreadful person in every way. Looking forward to seeing more from Decay as things improve.

3407. M32 cycle path (99)

The second half of 2020 was not a productive one for Decay, in terms of street work, so it was great to see some new pieces during the Christmas holiday break. This is a very neat and tidy Christmas piece on the M32 cycle path.

Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, December 2020
Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, December 2020

I think that this is the first piece I have seen in Bristol since August, although he did make an appearance at the Cheltenham Paint Festival in September that I haven’t posted yet (note to self – post a few more from the festival soon). In this nicely styled piece spelling out DECAY, his little character, Chuck, is greeting us with a Christmas Ho ho ho! It will be interesting to see what happens with the new hard national lockdown imposed yesterday. I expect some artists will make time to get out and about and others may go to ground. We shall see.

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