Here we have a classic Face 1st piece. A wall tucked away from general view and a chuckling girl’s face splashed on it. It is pieces like this, dotted all over the city that add to the overall fabric of Bristol. Sub-consciously, many thousands of people in Bristol will have seen one of these faces, they might not have registered them, but they will have seen them, and they will process them simply as being part of the furniture of the city.
Somehow, Face 1st injects a sense of fun and mischief into his work that comes across so well. These cheeky girls probably play slightly into the hands of subversive minds (it is graffiti after all), but are entirely accessible for all to enjoy and feel free. This one is a particularly lovely ecxample.
At the far end of the bowl in the skate park is this fantastic illustration piece by Squinty. I’ve not come across the artist before, but this is a real beauty in a style that you don’t see in Bristol all that often.
In his Instagram profile, Squinty describes himself as an artist, film maker, graffiti artist and illustrator. He describes this piece as a quick throw up. How can that be? This is a lovely piece and I’d love to see a whole ton more from the artist.
When I first saw this lovely piece I couldn’t place the artist. I was familiar with the style, but I don’t know, it was bothering me and I couldn’t immediately see the signature because of the skaters’ bags in front of it. A closer inspection revealed it is by Zake, but is quite unlike most of his other pieces that I have seen.
This is a really classy and thoughtful piece that makes perfect use of the awkward column space. The green-faced girl has beautiful blue hair that turns into a waterfall. Her right hand is holding a spray can that is painting her purple hair that stretches over her head and transforms into a hand that is reaching down to her left hand. Personally I think this is a wonderfully composed piece and concept, beautifully carried out. I love it.
There is a name Diana Abdul at the bottom of the piece, but I don’t know what significance this holds.
Last August I took a day trip to Weston-super-Mare, just me and the dog, while my wife and daughter were holidaying in Greece and my son was doing his own thing. I had contrived to go to WSM so that I couls photograph the street art. The dog didn’t know that and was just grateful to have a whole day out sniffing and running. Most f the pieces in WSM are by JPS and this ‘young girl throwing a strop’ is one of the best in my view.
The story about this piece from JPS is that the young girl is having a strop because she has spilled her paint before she was able to paint the wall. There is so much to like about the composition, for example incorporating the drain pipe, let alone the quality of the stencil itself. Such a wonderful piiece. I can thoroughly recommend a trip to WSM for the street art alone.
The tunnels around the M32 roundabout are a fabulous place to find graffiti art, especially some of the more rough or edgy stuff, but are a real pain to photograph. The tunnels are narrow, and the light conditions can be absolutely terrible, especially on a bright day, because of the variability of very light to very dark in only a few paces.
It is all worth it though when you come across a piece like this one by Face 1st. The feature picture is the only one that has the piece in its totality and you can see the letters PWA mad up of a pencil, some paint and an ‘A’ on the spray can. PWA is the crew, Pirate Wall Art, that Face 1st, Soap and Sikoh belong to. There may be other members that I am less familiar with.
The whole piece is a joyous celebration of street art and painted in an area where there is pretty much always a piece from this artist on display – a bit like the 24/7 screening of Star Trek somewhere around the globe. Nice work.
A stencil artist whose work I have always admired is London’s Unify. Unify’s work, for me has a real human touch, grabbing the viewer’s attention through an emotional draw. These works are more than illustrations they are stories, sometimes political, sometimes satirical, sometimes child-like and they are all pretty powerful.
This beautiful small stencil depicts a young girl painting some little red hearts that collectively form a peace symbol, something that is used a lot in Unify’s work. It is a touching piece full of hope, and beautifully presented between these two flowerpots.
Consistently creative, hugely talented and generally just brilliant, Chinagirl Tile keeps on turning out the most incredible ceramic installation pieces time and time again. This clever combination piece for the Cheltenham Paint Festival 2019 features a ceramic tile girl spray painting a child-like horse with blue spots. I was lucky enough to catch up with Chinagirl Tile when she was putting this piece together – it was all a little tense as she was running low on the bonding material for glueing the tiles to the wall. While we chatted I managed to sneak a picture of her plan for the piece, and I have to say it all turned out pretty much as she had imagined it.
I think that Chinagirl Tile is unique amongst street artists in that I don’t know of any others who make such elaborate and artistic original tiles of this type. There are many installation artists, but none who do anything like this.
The girl is made up of about fifteen or more separate tiles, each perfectly crafted, glazed and fired and pieced together seamlessly. It is a painstaking process but one that yeilds such fabulous results. And… you’ve got to love that monkey on her shoulder.
At festivals, Chinagirl Tile consistently remains one of my favourite artists and any town anywhere in the world would be uplifted by one of her beautiful tile installations. The best part is that they tend to remain intact for several years, for people to enjoy.
An artist who just never seems to stop, and the number of posts on Natural Adventures featuring his work would evidence that, is Face 1st. In recent weeks he seems to have reverted to his charming portraits and hair spelling out FACE after experimenting with full body characters, always female, during the summer. I like it that he is stretching his ‘portfolio’ and that he remembers where he has come from too.
This one on Upper York Street, adjacent to Hazard’s wonderful frog, is full of soft subtle tones that contrast with the brighht pink background. I’ve rarely come across a piece by this artist that I haven’t liked.
This is not a new wall, in fact it was painted round about this time last year if I remember correctly, just before Upfest 2018. I am posting it now because at last I have managed to get a clean shot of it without cars parked directly in front of it, a rare privilege indeed.
The piece is obviously by Inkie, and is a straight refresh of a similar piece by the artist that was here before. There is a little hint of Cheba too on the left, with a bit of cosmic background. What is strange about this piece is that it is unfinished, and it would seem that after such a long tiime it is unlikely ever to be finished. The lettering around the word bread is not completely filled or outlined and the leafy sketch at the bottom of the piece also appears to be unfinished. It is a bit naughty of Inkie to leave it like this, and I hope that if it was a commission that the bakery got a discount.
In the bottom right of the piece we have a beautiful trademark Inkie girl with hair, a motif that is probably most recognisable as being by Inkie. Pleased to have posted this one at last, and even though it is unfinished, we can all move on.
This is indeed a special wall because there is not one, but two pieces by Face 1st painted I think at different times. I found these pieces on a walk of St Paul’s with Paul Harrison a couple of weeks ago.
Both of the murals demonstrate beautifully the way that Face 1st is developing his art and on the left are twins dressed up like Everton mints. These cheeky girls were painted first, and when I saw them on Instagram I couldn’t work out where they were… probably because I’ve never photographed this wall before.
It is the second piece that really captivates me though, where a girl is peering over her sun specs standing in front of some kind of structure (is it speakers?). Her flowing hair is unmistakably Face 1st, and the pattern on the dress a technique shared by fellow PWA member Soap.
There is something about the form of this young woman that I find incredibly compelling, but I just can’t quite put my finger on it. What a treat to find both of these pieces, and what fun watching Face 1st doing new stuff. I look forward to his next pieces.