When Zake first appeared on my radar a few years ago, I managed to pretty much keep on top of his work, only rarely missing a piece in Bristol. These days, he is painting so much in so many spots, it is difficult to keep up. I have been meaning to photograph this one in the Full Moon in Stokes Croft for some time, and finally got round to it a week or two ago.
Zake has sprayed this fine monkey in a spacesuit (a theme I have seen before) with a happy moon behind on a gate at the back of the pub courtyard garden. As ever, the faces are beautifully painted and Zake has used his highlighting technique to great effect, with blue shadowing in the creases of the features on both faces. Very nice work from Zake.
This is a very welcome piece from Mr Underbite, who has managed to get under my skin completely, with his character pieces. This is the second time he has painted this spot, on the pathway alongside the Bristol Avon, and in doing so has made a bit of a claim on this little wall.
The view referred to by the character is of the Avon Gorge and Clifton suspension bridge, which is just to the right and beyond this wall. The character has paint brushes sticking out of the top of his head, and he seems to be in the mood for painting. I am so enjoying the journey with Mr Underbite.
Anyone expecting to see Upfest pictures from last weekend are going to have to be a little patient. It will take me a while to select the right pictures to share and I have about a 10-day pipeline of images already uploaded. Perhaps there will be something in a fortnight or so. Later this week I will have some more Upfest walls for you so at least I am not being entirely negligent.
I am a little distracted today as I leave for Portugal this afternoon on a mini-break with my daughter, who really deserves it. She has had a very tough couple of years and I hope this trip will raise her spirits. Speaking of the Iberian peninsula, here are a couple of pieces by Spanish artist Zake (see what I did there?).
Zake has been smashing it all year and is paining as frequently as I can remember, and these pieces are from his ‘safe space’ M32 Spot, where I first encountered his work a few years back. The pillar piece is where he had a presence for a long time, and a quick glance at his gallery will give you a sense of how much he likes this spot.
Both pieces display Zake’s mastery of light and shade in bringing out features in his cartoon faces. He has a gift for using colour and shadings to create depth to his pieces. Zake painted a fun piece for Upfest which I will post soon, all being well.
Right, that’s your lot today, I have some packing to do. I understand there is quite a lot of street art in Porto… what a coincidence!
Because I don’t drop down into Frome Side all that often, access is difficult with the dog, most of the pieces are new (to me), and I get to photograph a lot of work. On my most recent trip, I was pleased to find two pieces by Morag, an artist whose work I really rather like.
With each new piece I find by Morag, there seems to be an elevated level of sophistication. More detail, more of an expression in the face, accessories like the hat seen in these pieces. It is a journey I am thoroughly enjoying and I look forward to seeing more around Bristol.
Both pieces share the characteristic style, but have quite different expressions, and the colour palettes are different too. Morag has joined a merry band of artists that like to do faces, including Slakarts, Zake and Asre – good company indeed.
I photographed this piece on the day I first met Runaway Joey, or Asre as he signs himself. He was painting another face only yards away from this one. We stopped for quite a long chat, and I was touched to find out that he not only knew who I was but also had been chatting with his friends about me and what I do, later describing me as a ‘top bloke’ in an Instagram post later that day. It is so gratifying to know that that some of the artists I write about have read this blog and appreciate what I do here. For the record, Asre is a really decent guy who made plenty of time for a chat about his work. I look forward to meeting him again.
This wall used to ‘belong’ to Laic217, and is one of my favourite walls in Bristol (definitely a candidate for my ‘one wall, many faces’ series of posts). The face from Asre is rather more elaborate than some that he paints, with rather scary teeth, a green face and a magnificent crown. There is something menacing and slightly evil about this piece, which also introduces some different elements to the typical format Asre uses for this series. There is so much more to post from Asre, I am struggling to know where to begin. I have some much better photographs of this and will try to replace these when I have a moment.
Last Saturday was one of those very special red-letter days for me. I took the dog for a walk, that ended up being a bit of a marathon, during which I visited four spots and met nine or ten artists, several of them for the first time. Among the artists, it was an enormous pleasure to meet Asre, or Runaway Joey as he is known, for the first time, and very touching to find out that he knew who I was and had been keen to meet me and had even read some of my posts… my work here is done.
This is one of a multitude of variations on a theme by Asre, with the stylised cartoon face that we are becoming accustomed to seeing all over the place. This poor fellow looks like he has come a poor second in a boxing bout, with a severe black eye. Once again, the strong clean lines and solid fills are nicely worked, and the boxing glove provides additional interest – I like the way Asre has highlighted the glove with pink and white, giving it a cool 3D effect. There is so much more to come from this prolific artist and all round great bloke.
It is probably about time for another piece from Face 1st, and this one, like so many of his other pieces, is so full of joy and happiness. I think that Face 1st should be employed as a ‘happiness tzar’ for Bristol, and be allowed to spray his happy faces to improve morale in a time when good news is hard to come by.
This particular piece in Dean Lane is in one of his preferred forms in which he has written FACE as the hair of a girl’s smiling face. For added effect, he has included a second face as the ‘A’ of FACE. It is always great to see anything by this artist, and the Bristol graffiti/street art scene simply wouldn’t be the same without him.
I think that I could quite easily fill up all my posts with work from about four or five artists in Bristol who seem to be unstoppable in their quest to brighten our streets and practice their art. One of those artists is Face 1st, who has been a constant drumbeat through the development and progress of Natural Adventures. Always there, always painting.
This piece is in my favourite street, for sentimental reasons really, in Bristol, Moon Street. Definitely a quick one from Fac 1st, as so many of his pieces are, but even though it probably only took an hour or so to paint, there is a lot to like about it. The change of pink to orange as you read left to right, and the blending of the colours, works really well. Of course, no Face 1st piece is complete without a girl’s face somewhere, and in this one, she is lurking in the letter C.
Slakarts isn’t painting quite as much as I would like to see, but in this piece on the roundabout he has turned out an absolute beauty. It is almost like he has applied the Picasso cubist treatment on his stylised face, and the result is something rather special.
I am not the biggest fan of chrome, as I think it tends to dominate a piece – great for throw ups and bubble writing, but difficult to pull off with tidier pieces. Slakarts has more than pulled this off, he has smashed it with the interactions between chrome blues and white and the overall effect is stunning. Beautifully conceived and executed, this is a magnificent specimen from Slakarts.
I believe that this is the third Morag piece I have posted on Natural Adventures, and I must say that I really love what he does. The simplest of thick black lines in an apparently continuous loop painted on a single colour background to create a perfectly stylised face.
There is definitely something in the simplicity that brings out the design really well, and actually, the simplicity is a little more sophisticated than it might at first appear. This picture was taken on a very bright day, and unfortunately I have cast a shadow over the piece. Hey ho.