There is no stopping Face 1st, and indeed there has been no stopping him for several years now, he is a machine. Whether he is painting with his PWA crew or solo, he brings a sense of fun, mischief and happiness through his work.
This is a lovely portrait piece, on the M32 roundabout, of one of his laughing girls with flowers in her hair. The splatted mouth and background are ideas that Face 1st has been using a lot lately, and are becoming identifiers for his work (as if they aren’t recognisable enough). This one is a real beauty.
The PWA boys were so very busy in 2021, and their numbers swelled with the additions of Nightwayss, Zake and Chill. Few spots in Bristol were untouched by their joyful collaborations, among them this fine wall at the M32 roundabout.
To the left is a well crafted piece of writing from Soap with some curious and interesting ideas creeping in, including the slogan, much used by street artists, ‘eat the rich’. The whole thing is liberally sprinkled with cut gemstones, something I must ask Soap about next time I see him.
The middle section of this triptych is by Zake with a characteristic face, full of expression and beautiful contours exaggerated by skilful shading and highlighting. The face also has a hand which is operating a little string puppet. There is a story here, but I am not too sure what it is.
The final part of the collaboration is by Face 1st and it is a really fabulous bit of writing, sans smiling girl. Lots of gunge oozing from the 3D lettering, which seems to have been a bit of a thing for Face 1st in 2021. There was a fourth part to this collaboration, which was the Nightwayss piece I posted a few days ago, but it didn’t sit as part of the symmetry of these three pieces.
You might have noticed my recent joy that the arches on the facade of The Carriageworks have been exposed and almost immediately painted by the PWA crew. Although the joy might be short-lived, it is genuine and complete and these photographs capture some of that feeling for me.
To the left is a fabulous mash-up from Soap and Face 1st. All the elements that you would expect from a collaboration between these two are there, and it is great to see their work back where it belongs. These two young women were loving it too, and spent ages taking pictures of each other on the magnificent backdrop. They were not the only ones to stop and photograph the arches in the few minutes I spent there.
To the right (the second of the fur arches), Nightwayss and Chill, who seems to have been recruited into the PWA fold, have collaborated to create a fabulous and slightly eclectic scene. The self-portrait and small mammal, some kind of primate I am guessing, are by Nightwayss along with the writing at the top spelling ‘NIGHT’. The two-tone cartoon character is by Chill, a tattooist, who really seems to be enjoying painting walls at the moment. Great art, great location, great artists… what more could you ask for?
I cannot begin to explain how much joy this collaboration, on two of the arches (part of a larger four arch spread) on the front of The Carriageworks, gives me. This once popular spot was fenced off for development in 2018, and I feared that we would never see any street art on these arches again. Two weeks ago, the covers came off the building site and the facade of this building has been retained along with the four arches, and it took the Pirate Wall Art (PWA) crew no time at all to repossess these ‘canvasses’.
On the left is a three way mash up with Face 1st at the top, Soap on the right and possible new recruit into the crew, Chill. Everything about this is very PWA and how appropriate it is that they should be the first to recolonise this spot. I wonder how long it will be before anti-graffiti paint is applied by some killjoy who understands nothing about the area. We will wait and see, but in the meantime we can enjoy stuff like this.
On the right hand arch is a classic Soap/Face1st mash up piece, the likes of which often made an appearance on this very wall in years gone by. This is a fabulous nod to those great times and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to enjoy plenty more in the future. I’ll be posting the other two arches soon.
It looks like Zake has been taken under the wing of PWA (Pirate Wall Art crew) recently, at least he seems to be painting a lot alongside Face 1st, Soap and Nightwayss. This is a superb and fun collaboration between Face 1st, Soap and Zake, and plays to their collective strengths.
I like this collaboration, because it is a merger of all three artists, with the outer two smiling girls from Face 1st, the laughing scull/mouths from Soap and the jolly centrepiece from Zake. All of these characters set on a boiling bubble splash of orange, red and pink. A joyful and fun collaboration, which I don’t think lasted too long – nothing much does on this wall these days.
The Bristol street art scene simply wouldn’t be what it is without the metronomic consistency of artists like Face 1st. These artists provide the foundations upon which all other artists build their works and reputations, but without this underground culture, street art would likely struggle in the city. Just look at those towns which have no culture of graffiti or street art and then host a festival, the legacy although stunning dies off and appears to be fake. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing street art wherever it is, but people like Face 1st provide an authenticity that you simply can’t replicate through commissions alone.
This is a revisiting of one of Face 1st’s favourite themes, a girl’s laughing face with a hairdo made out of the word FACE. Lovely colours, nicely painted and everything I would want it to be.
This is a joyous celebration of Pirate Wall Art (PWA) by Soap, Face 1st and Nightwayss alongside the slip road off the M32 J2 roundabout. In this piece the three friends have combined to fill the space with icons and tags that they use in their work. It is almost like a giant doodle, and a concept these three are having some fun with at the moment.
There are so many little bits to this collaboration, and it is one of those true collaborations where all the artists have combined to make the whole. The faces are by Face 1st, the mouthy skulls are by Soap and the monkeys by Nightwayss. The only mystery is the blue-faced character with the crown, top left, which I think is by Soap.
What an absolutely fabulous classic from Face 1st. It is pieces like this that first led me to appreciate the work of this rather underrated graffiti artist. Face 1st has been relentless in his pursuit of bringing smiles to people’s faces, and with this blue face girl he succeeds perfectly.
The colours used are really attractive and easy on the eye, and the typical smiling girl with the letters FACE for hair is pure Face 1st at his very best. I love this piece to bits.
Never too far from my mind are the exploits of Soap and Face 1st, hardly surprising really considering that I see their work on such a regular basis. I must admit though that I was a little surprised to find this collaboration recently, because this isn’t a wall I would normally associate with the pair.
I would start by saying I don’t think that this is one of their best collaborative efforts, but I think that is mainly down to the colour selections which are a bit muted, they don’t really shout out from the wall. On the left are the letters SOAP from Soap with some nice little details like the sun and the little face in the O. There is a quality and an assuredness about Soap’s work that makes it quite easy on the eye.
To the right is a classic face from Face 1st. He certainly seems to be enjoying his ‘splats’ at the moment, and the girl’s face has a blue mess about her mouth. Surrounding the face are the letters FACE. It looks like the PWA boys had some fun painting this one.
What we have here is a fabulous panoramic, segmented take-over by PWA artists Face 1st, Soap and Nightwayss up at Purdown Battery. I’m not sure that I have seen a themed section of walls up here before and the overall impact is stunning.
The first panel is by Face 1st and contains a boy and a girl holding gems. This is remarkable in one major aspect, I don’t think I have ever seen Face 1st paint a smiling boy before – it is a rare thing indeed.
The middle panel, set back, is rather more traditional fare from Soap, who is really going large on his gems at the moment. I really do need to fins out what they are all about, because their inclusion in his pieces is becoming almost obsessive.
The triptych is rounded off nicely with a ferocious piece from Nightwayss, in which a nightmarish monkey (what else?) is using a spray can. Some of his pieces are turning a little passive/aggressive at the moment and becoming a little more edgy – I am not complaining mind, graffiti art is edgy by definition.
All in all a wonderful theatrical collaboration from the PWA boys.