I have only met Hemper on one occasion and that was last summer. My first impressions were that he is an unassuming and modest fellow who has put in the effort and has a gift for graffiti writing and does it extraordinarily well.
Hemper is a freestyle writer, which means that he doesn’t paint from a sketch in a black book but rather from his imagination. Combine that natural creativity with the fine motor skills that he has developed over the years, and you get outstanding pieces like this one. A little beauty.
Another one from a little earlier this year, and what a beauty it is from Hemper. This is a fantastically intricate piece of wildstyle writing from the artist in which each letter of the word HEMPERS (I think) is written with a completely independent style and colour regime and each is wonderfully elaborate.
I had a conversation with Hemper earlier in the year when he was painting this same wall, and he told me that he usually freestyles his pieces with a mental picture of roughly how he wants it to turn out. Well if this was what was in his head he has turned out a real gem. Exceptional work from an exceptional graffiti writer.
On the opposite side of the Dare To building from the Smak piece in my previous post on Natural Adventures is a fine quintet of pieces of which this is one. Each piece hosts the writers name together with a little character. This gorgeous rhapsody in green is by Hemper.
Spelling out HEMS, this intricate piece is absolutely amazing and incredibly detailed. The letters seem to pop out all over the place thanks to the skillful 3D shading effects. This is a work by a fine craftsman. I’m not too sure who the little green character is to the top left, but I think I recognise him from a contemporary cartoon series.
This piece was photographed during a crazy purple patch of brilliant artists hitting the M32 walls a couple of weeks back and I just so happened to be fortunate enough to see them at work two days running. On the second day, when I took these pictures, I had returned to the roundabout to photograph the finished pieces from the day before and was treated with finding a whole ton more artists at work. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it is so rewarding.
I managed to introduce myself to Hemper for the first time and although I have seen him painting before, I’ve not really had the opportunity to say hello. When I arrived Hemper was about half way through this freestyle piece. It is something rather different and resembles slightly a stained glass window.
Hemper was using up dregs from cans hence the explosion of colour, and sprayed the colours first, before carefully going over each colour with the black outline to create this wonderful effect. A great piece on a great day.
Back to more familiar territory with this absolute stunner from Hemper at the M32 from March 2016. Although it is obvious now to see the letters HEMS, at the time I took these pictures I was less familiar with Bristol artists and in particular the wildstyle writers, so I probably didn’t post this beauty because I didn’t know the artist,
I cannot begin to articulate just how good this piece is. The letter style is outstanding, but it is the horizontally graded fills with drips and dots that makes this piece special for me. A very classy piece from a top Bristol artist.
There is no question about it, I have seen a whole ton more work by Hemper in the last six months than I have over the previous five years. He seems to be free to paint more regularly for whatever reason. Unfortunately nobody can escape the Covid-19 lockdown and his productivity might be dented for a little while.
This is an all-round crowd pleaser with nice colours, gently curved letters and some very pretty fills. Clearly this is the work of a highly experienced graffiti artist and there is an ease and self-confidence about it.
From the feature image it is difficult to gauge the significance of this collaborative wall from little more than a week ago in Dean Lane skate park. I gave you a little hint earlier this week with a piece by Rusk which is on the left hand side of this wall behind the fence and which can’t be viewed from this vantage point.
I had decided to take the dog for a walk to Dean Lane and talk about being in the right place at the right time… this was it, and so utterly random that I had chosen to go down there. Not only were Soker, Inkie and Hemper busy doing their thing, but Rusk was also there and watching on were The Agent, Angus, DJ Perks and Tes (Slim Pickings).
It was a little bit like I had died and gone to graffiti heaven. To see these established writers all at work simultaneously was a rare treat indeed, and that other artists who had been tipped-off were watching on made the whole thing feel extra special.
I had met all the artists before with the exception of Hemper who seems to have had something of a renaissance of late, but this wasn’t really the right time to introduce myself, more an opportunity to watch how these guys go about their businness.
Soker’s chrome piece on the left is near perfect and spells out Sokem (the R and M are interchangeable in his name). The photographs of the finished pieces were taken a day or two later.
Inkie’s central panel is classic Inkie and whilst also in chrome stands out due to the deep 3D shading in a striking scarlet colour. This is the third Inkie I have seen so far this year which is not bad going especially as there haven’t been any festivals in that time.
I am less well acquainted with Hemper’s work simply because he hasn’t painted as much as the others until relatively recently. Again in chrome, this third panel of the triptych mirrors the colours of Soker’s piece on the left to give some symmetry to the collaborative work. A landmark wall and a red letter day.
Spelling out HEMS, this is a really easy-on-the-eye piece from Hemper. A great colour palette and sensational light green shading on the lettering really lifts the piece and it stands out from the crowd.
When I see graffiti writing of this quality I want to show it to other people who perhaps categorise all tagging, burners, throw ups and writing broadly as ‘graffiti’ and don’t really give it a second thought. A piece like this is beautifully designed and brilliantly painted, and couldn’t be more different from a scruffy tag on a lamp post for example. Fabulous work from a Bristol master.
As part of the 3Dom birthday celebration paint jam down at Dean Lane Hemper painted this wonderful piece of writing on the curved wall that has played host to so many incredible pieces over the years.
The letters are bold and the colours blended from top to bottom are exceptional, but it is the texture of the piece and the drips melting down that show the true craftsmanship of this fabulous Bristol graffiti writer.
Here are two artists we don’t get to see nearly enough of. Both are established artists on the Bristol scene, but neither of them is out painting walls every week so what a pleasant surprise to come across this collaboration from Hemper and Hypo in the tunnel last week.
Hemper has been painting walls in Bristol for a long time and is highly regarded by his peers, and it is easy to understand why. Here he writes HEMP in shades of blue set on a painted brick wall from which the render has broken off. There are so many things to admire asbout this piece of work, and as if that weren’t enough he also adds in a message about the roll-out of 5G in Bristol “I never asked for 5G”.
Hypo, on the left, continues with the blue theme and spells out his name with 3D block lettering emanating from two vanishing points. I have noticed that in most of his work Hypo is very keen on using vanishing points and it is a common thread that appears to be the basis of much of his work. The piece is beautifully presented and the accessories work really well, such as the stars, drips and the spotty background. Overall a very pleasing collaborative piece.