Felix Braun or FLX as he is known is one of the godfather’s of street art in Bristol and author of the wonderful ‘Children of the Can’ books. His street work these days tends to be commission-based or the occasional appearance at a festival. He has been rather busy in Bristol lately, which is obviously good news.
This piece on the M32 cycle path is highly unusual because it appears to be a sanctioned commission (who else gets to paint behind temporary railings?) on a wall that normally plays host to high turnover graffiti and tagging. I don’t know how Felix Braun has swung this, not do I know how long it will remain untagged, but for the meanwhile it is a case of sitting back and admiring this huge piece.
The overall message is ‘Love Bristol’ or ‘Bristol loves you’ which is preaching to a converted audience. The piece itself is a showcase for FLX’s themes of silhouetted people, and of overlapping letters in different colours, creating third colours where the overlap occurs.
In the heart section, the word love appears in several different languages and scripts, most of which I cannot read, but I am pretty sure they all say love. This is a positive message and one that we are in desperate need of in the UK right now.
Let’s hope that the positive messaging translates into positive outcomes, starting with a total change in government… that would be nice.
Anyone who visits the centre of Bristol can’t have missed that there has been a lot of redevelopment work going on in Nelson Street, Broad Street and the surrounding area. This rather seedy backwater has, over the last two years undergone a bit of a face lift and is being opened soon as a huge, 250 bedroom, hotel owned by the Clayton chain. Let’s hope they can find enough workers to staff it! Unlike many developments, this one has retained some significant existing murals and commissioned a new one by the old master, Felix Braun.
Felix Braun or FLX is one of the godfathers of Bristol street art and author of the book ‘Children of the Can’ a ‘must-have’ for enthusiasts of the Bristol scene. His artwork has taken on a highly designed stylised look in recent years, and this huge mural is a gorgeous reminder of his talent. Abstract figures at the base of the piece draw your eyes in before sending them upwards towards the giant figure and it’s shadow. There is something very pleasing about the piece overall, and it is great to see FLX’s work in the heart of the city.
With one month to go before the referendum to decide on whether Great Britain should stay in the European Union, things are hotting up. This is an extraordinary commission from a group who are encouraging voters to remain in the EU. The wall is where the Bruno Smoky ‘burning house‘ piece was.
I was lucky enough to see the artist working on this piece on my way to work yesterday morning. I stopped and chatted with him, while he painted. He is Felix (FLX) Braun, one of the original Bristol street artists and author of ‘children of the can‘ a seminal book cataloging the birth and growth of Bristol street art. Felix is one half of the Paintsmiths who created this tribute to Mibsy.
We had a great discussion about the tagging that seems to be everywhere in Bristol at the moment, and he views it very much as part of the development of the whole graffiti art scene. He does a lot of work with youth groups, often from difficult backgrounds, and teaches them to spray and develop their skills. I believe he also works with art students at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
The piece itself is a deliberately provocative and grotesque image of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson kissing…so much crazy hair! The intention is for the image, and others like it, to go viral, thus reaching and encouraging young voters to register and vote on the day of the referendum. It is known that younger people are much more pro EU than people over 60, but are less likely to vote.
I will be playing my part by using the limited means I have on digital media to reach as many people as possible with this message.
Technically this is a great piece by a great artist, and although a commission, has all the hallmarks of the ‘Bristol thing’ about it. I love it.