4733. Greenbank (54)

Face 1st and Chill, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022
Face 1st and Chill, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022

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.

Chill, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022
Chill, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022

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, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022
Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2022

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.

4682. Greenbank (52)

Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, August 2022

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.

Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Greenbank, Bristol, August 2022

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, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022

4663. Moon Street (96)

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022

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.

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2022

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.

4611. Moon Street (95)

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, Moon Street, Bristol, July 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, July 2022

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.

4547. M32 Cycle path (178)

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.

Face 1st, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, June 2022
Face 1st, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, June 2022

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.

4039. M32 roundabout J3 (359)

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.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol October 2021
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol October 2021

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.

3969. Victoria Square, Weston-super-Mare

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.

JPS, Victoria Square, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021
JPS, Victoria Square, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021

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.

JPS, Victoria Square, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021
JPS, Victoria Square, Weston-super-Mare, September 2021

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.

3947. M32 roundabout J3 (348)

What an absolutely fabulous classic from Face 1st. It is pieces like this that first led me to appreciate the work of this rather underrated graffiti artist. Face 1st has been relentless in his pursuit of bringing smiles to people’s faces, and with this blue face girl he succeeds perfectly.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2021
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2021

The colours used are really attractive and easy on the eye, and the typical smiling girl with the letters FACE for hair is pure Face 1st at his very best. I love this piece to bits.

3616. Cumberland Basin

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.

Face 1st, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, April 2021
Face 1st, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, April 2021

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.