4840. Brunel Way (182)

Face 1st, Zake and Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Face 1st, Zake and Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

One of the great pleasures in life is coming across a PWA collaboration, and this little beauty painted under Brunel Way recently was a real treat. It is a well-balanced triptych, with Face 1st on the left, Zake in the middle and Soap on the right. It is an interesting observation that most of the time when Face 1st and Soap get together, they nearly always paint this way round – it must simply feel comfortable that way.

Face 1st, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Face 1st, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

Face 1st’s piece in chrome is a nice simple girl’s face with the letters FACE neatly spaced around the edge, with a deep black 3D drop shadow and neatly bounded with a thin green line. Basic stuff done really well.

Zake, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Zake, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

The middle section, or ‘filling of the sandwich’, is this unusual portrait piece by Zake. I am not too sure what is going on here, but it looks like the brain of the blue character is being expelled through his mouth, and that the brain appears to have a character all of its own. Quite bizarre, but beautifully painted with all the fine shading attributes associated with Zake’s work.

Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

The symmetry is completed with another chrome piece, this one by Soap, to the right, reflecting the basic design of Face 1st’s on the other side. The central element is Soap’s characteristic mouth/skull ‘super tag’ with the letters SOAP encircling it. All in all, a wonderful piece from the PWA boys to brighten up our dull existence.

4781. Sparke Evans Park (59)

Face 1st, Sparke Evan Park, Bristol, October 2022
Face 1st, Sparke Evan Park, Bristol, October 2022

More joyful work from the Bristol godfather of happy graffiti art, Face 1st. Although I have seen a couple of sad Face 1st girls, I seem to remember a crying-girl Brexit piece, the vast majority are smiling or laughing.

Face 1st, Sparke Evan Park, Bristol, October 2022
Face 1st, Sparke Evan Park, Bristol, October 2022

The pink dungarees stand out next to the yellow hair and black background, and there is the faintest whiff of colour schemes used in the children’s picture book ‘Go Dog Go’. There is a freedom in Face 1st’s pieces that is both slightly anarchic and comforting all at once. The day Face 1st hangs up his boots is the day I do the same.

4770. Moon Street (98)

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, October 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, October 2022

On one of my favourite walls, in one of my favourite streets, by one of my favourite artists. This is a lovely piece by Face 1st, and something of a new idea, with a bit of fragmentation going on in the girl’s smiling face. As is usually the case, the hair spells out FACE.

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, October 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, October 2022

This is a piece that is not only well painted, but also is full of energy and movement. It is pieces like this one that remind me how much I love photographing and following street art in Bristol, seeing and capturing talent and beauty. Time to update my Face 1st gallery, as he has been on a very productive streak lately.

4733. Greenbank (54)

Face 1st and Chill, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022
Face 1st and Chill, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022

Pirate Wall Art (PWA) has been quite a dynamic crew over the last couple of years, with the inclusion of Nightwayss and Chill, and then the departure of Nightwayss (not from the crew, but from Bristol). Chill has embraced the group of friends with gusto, and regularly paints collaborations, often in the company of Face 1st, who I get the impression is always up for a paint.

Chill, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022
Chill, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022

The collaboration is beautifully presented on a grey buffed background with green foliage, flowers, clouds and a little bird by Chill. His cartoon character is wonderful, but it is the hand gently holding the flower that works so well… some real tenderness.

Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022
Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022

Face 1st has reverted to his girl with FACE for hair, written in a chunky block script. The shading on the letters F and E gives them a 3D effect, while the A and C are flatter, sitting back. It shows you what you can do with shading to make elements of a piece stand out. Of course, the girl is smiling, and the piece is a happy one. This is a fine collaboration from the PWA pair.

4711. M32 roundabout J3 (430)

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2022

This Face 1st piece on the M32 roundabout is a little bit hidden away, and doesn’t appear to have done the rounds on Instagram as much as some of his other recent pieces, it is however an absolute beauty.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2022

Face 1st usually paints in three basic formats; writing the word FACE with a face in one of the letters, painting a girl figure (usually smiling) or painting a girl’s face with the work FACE appearing in the hair. This piece is in the latter format. The happy face is splashed with wonderfully complementary colours and lots of dripping gloop. Another fun piece from Face 1st.

4682. Greenbank (52)

Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, August 2022

I cannot express how much I am enjoying this ‘happy’ period from Face 1st. There is something new and fresh about his work at the moment, which you might only notice if you have been following his art for a while. Face 1st is concentrating a little more on his characters, nearly always laughing girls, but there is more movement and different poses entering into his work.

Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, August 2022

In this piece we have one of Face 1st’s letters and character pieces, with the letters FA and E broken up with a kick-dancing girl obscuring or being the C. The girl is striking a similar pose to one of his other recent pieces, which I posted a short while ago. Gotta love this one.

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022

4663. Moon Street (96)

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022

Face 1st seems to be going through a joyous renaissance these days and has painted several wonderful character pieces that simply ooze happiness – maybe it is a reflection of the artist’s disposition, I certainly hope so When I think about Bristol street art, front of mind is always this combination of Face 1st and Moon Street, two factors that kindled my interest back in 2015.

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022

This magnificent dancing girl, having a great time in her yellow dress and red shoes, simply oozes fun and joy, suggesting a great night out. Although I love pretty much everything Face 1st does, the freedom and expression in these large character pieces definitely brings out the best in him. An instant favourite.

4611. Moon Street (95)

Many of you will know that Moon Street is one of my absolute favourite street art spots, although that accolade has possibly moved on a little in recent years due to the gentrification of the area. But even now, Face 1st continues to brighten the place up with his inimitable and irrepressible style, making me feel very much at home with this lovely piece.

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, July 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, July 2022

Face 1st was one of the very first street artists I became familiar with, but it was a few years before I got to meet him in person. His work is at the heart of what I care about, and this piece is just so joyful and typical of the atmosphere he creates around his work. The girl with green hair in red dungarees is full of cheek and movement. My eye keeps getting drawn to the underside of her left shoe… it is completely absorbing. A nice piece to start the weekend with.

4547. M32 Cycle path (178)

The most consistently prolific artist over the last seven years is without doubt Face 1st. His tireless drive to keep producing wonderful pieces is enviable and really rather awesome. I don’t know where he gets the energy, or the cash for paint from. I guess I don’t need to know, but simply enjoy the benefits of his heroic efforts.

Face 1st, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, June 2022
Face 1st, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, June 2022

This is a rather nice FACE piece with a girl’s face in place of the ‘A’. The letters are large and bold, as if carved out of stone, and the grey of the letters contrasts wonderfully well with the Orange hair of the smiling girl. When the world grinds to a halt, Face 1st will still be out there painting letters and smiling girls on walls. It is just what he does.

4525. Dean Lane skate park (501)

I genuinely thought that this wall would become redundant when work began on redeveloping the building about a year ago, a suspicion exacerbated when they put some windows in the wall. My fears may have been unfounded, as the wall appears to be intact and has regular makeovers, many of them quite fantastic, like this PWA collaborative wall from a short while ago.

Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2022
Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2022

The three artists are Face 1st, Chill and Soap, and together they have created an upbeat and rather fun triptych. Face 1st on the left ha painted one of his traditional smiling face characters whose hair is made up of the letters FACE – full of joy.

Chill, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2022
Chill, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2022

In the middle, Chill has created one of his cartoon-style line drawings with quite a story going on. I don’t know what the story is, but it includes a bird, a rose and a scroll with the artist’s name on it. More mischief and fun.

Soap, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2022
Soap, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2022

To the right is Soap’s contribution in which he continues the colour selections, backfilling his letters spelling SOAP and featuring (a many of his posts do) the Ice King from Adventure Time – a cartoon series that sadly passed me by.  Nice work from this PWA trio.