1727. M32 roundabout J3 (93)

Face 1st (F1st) is the master of getting his work squeezed into just about every corner of Bristol. At any one time, the M32 roundabout must play host to four or five of his pieces, which is pretty impressive really. I would hate to see his monthly spend on spray cans.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018

This is a return to his more ‘traditional’ style of a pretty face incorporated into some beautifully decorated letters which usually spell out FACE, but in this instance I’m not sure about that. It is always great to see work by one of my absolute favourite Bristol artists.

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1697. St Werburghs tunnel (38)

Hurrah, it is great to find one of Laic217’s distorted face pieces, it feels like an absolute age since I last saw one, he has mostly been spraying skeletons and skulls of late, so this is a welcome return.

Laic217, St Werburghs, Bristol, August 2018
Laic217, St Werburghs, Bristol, August 2018

This is one of a pair of pieces sprayed side by side in St Werburghs tunnel in early August by the artist, and of the two I would say I slightly prefer it although both are excellent. I really do like his work, and for as long as he keeps putting them out there, I will continue to photograph them and write about them…if I find them. Those eyes!

1683. Upfest 2018 (23)

Now this charming piece is something rather refreshingly different and eye-catching. It is one of two pieces that I am aware of painted by the London-based artist Vanesa Longchamp at Upfest, the other being a North Street shutter piece (to follow).

Vanesa Longchamp, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Vanesa Longchamp, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

It was good to witness this piece taking shape during the festival, although I think that the high winds experienced over the weekend must have made it rather difficult, particularly at the exposed site of Ashton Gate, for the artists.

Vanesa Longchamp, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Vanesa Longchamp, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Vanesa’s simple style betrays some fantastic technique and the shading of the hair and twinkle in the eyes is masterful. I’ve not come across any of herv work before but will be on the look out from now on. Great stuff.

1673. M32 roundabout J3 (91)

Unusually I find myself rather conflicted about this extraordinary recent piece by 3Dom on the M32 wall. I am such a big admirer of his work, but for reasons I cannot identify, this one doesn’t really tick my boxes. It is technically beautifully done, and the blue patterning around the outside is masterful, but there is something about the face that doesn’t work for me. It is peculiar, but I feel a little disloyal, though I don’t suppose that you can like everything all the time.

3Dom, M32, Bristol, August 2018
3Dom, M32, Bristol, August 2018

It is great to see more of his work about the place though, and this piece did manage to survive longer than the Sepr piece two to the left which had been buffed by the time I got there.

1663. Upfest 2018 (14)

I think this is the one, my favourite piece of Upfest 2018. The reason this works so well for me is that I have long admired this wall for all its textures and character and have photographed it before when it had no graffiti at all (I have searched through my pictures, but can’t find the ones I have taken here in the past, which is really annoying).

Kowse, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Kowse, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The artist, Kowse One, is not even mentioned in the Upfest programme, and this certainly isn’t an official wall, but he did work on a fabulous collaboration with Braga Last One ( to come). I think he comes from Marseille, but beyond that I know little of him.

The piece itself is perfect in every way. The use of the rendered part of the wall and its juxtaposition with the bare brickwork, the colours used contrasting so well with the surrounding, the accomplished portrait work and the lettering on the face reflecting some of the tags nearby make this an enchanting and exciting piece. There is some real edge and brilliant improvisation. I love it, I love it.

1650. The Bearpit (157)

Wowzer…(not a word I use often), what a fabulous piece in The Bearpit from Face 1st. I have to say that I am just loving his development to full body pieces, and that hair…it’s just brilliant.

Face 1st, The Bearpit, Bristol, August 2018
Face 1st, The Bearpit, Bristol, August 2018

Now I happened to get really lucky a few days back and met Face 1st, Soap and Tasha Bee all at once all for the first time while they were collaborating at the M32 roundabout – more about that in another post. It was such a pleasure to meet Face 1st at last, after three years of posting, and it was rather gratifying and humbling that he had read this blog and even shared some posts with his mother. Watching these guys at work simply inspires me to get out there and start spraying – I would love to be able to do what they do as well as they do it. I guess I need to practice…a lot.

I love, love this piece, and have noticed that he is doing more of these and going big – so much to look forward to.

As an aside – this post is scheduled to publish while I am on an aeroplane bound for Italy…the wonders of modern technology.