I had a great catch up with Face 1st as he was assessing where to paint this stunning little design. He had thought about using one of the flat walls on the buildings, but instead chose this curved wall instead, and what a great choice he made.
Any piece on the ramps of a skate park get scuffed up pretty quickly, naturally, and when I photographed this it was only a day old, and you can see immediately how worn parts of it have become. Face 1st has painted a laughing girl’s face sliced through vertically, exposing the letters F, A and E, with the C sitting proudly on the girl’s pink bow. A wonderful piece from a lovely artist.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 stunning stencil by an artist to whom I owe my interest in street art, alongside Kid Crayon, Face 1st and Mr Draws; it is of course the unmistakable (apart from those that confuse him with Banksy) JPS, who grew up in Weston-super-Mare but now lives on the continent.
On the side wall of a café, looking out to sea, is this young girl complete with a camera, snapping up the views of the Pier and Severn Estuary. Her patterned dress is particularly nicely done in this sharp multi-layer stencil.
On my walk around the town I met an old lady who lives two doors down from where JPS grew up, and she said what a lovely boy he was and was obviously very proud of his art and talent, she seemed very knowledgeable about the new pieces in town and was utterly engaged with the street art scene, so good to see. JPS has played no small part in influencing these positive attitudes. Lots more from JPS to come.