Weston-super-Mare and JPS go together like a hand in glove, everywhere you look and every back street has a little bit of JPS artwork, it is almost like an open air museum. Although the artist now lives on the continent, in Germany I think, he comes back often enough to paint occasional new stencils in the town, and with the low frequency of my visits, I get to see a whole load of work new to me. Including this Spiderman beauty.
JPS always injects humour into his work, and although this phrase is a little bit cheesy, it is also rather prophetic, and indeed the piece has ended up on the web as evidenced here and in countless other digital platforms. Beautifully situated and painted, this is yet another great example to the work of this fabulous artist.
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.
It would seem that JPS has been visiting Bristol and his home, Weston-super-Mare recently if his Instagram account is anything to go by. On a wall that has been home to a JPS piece for a long time now, this new, and rather fantastic stencil arrived about week or two ago.
The piece features two little boys, one of them pulling a knife out on the other, both encircled in a ‘don’t do it’ sign. The slightly taller boy is gently restraining the one with the knife. This is a poignant anti knife crime piece and conveys the message sensitively.
This is JPS at his absolute best. A strong message conveyed with tenderness and love but not avoiding the hard issue in hand. Using children to depict such foolishness is clever because it helps us to see how stupid violence is and how it looks utterly out of context in these youngsters – shouldn’t it be so for everyone?
It was a version of this stunning stencil in Frogmore Street in Bristol, together with Kid Crayon’s wheatpastes that drew me into the extraordinary world of street art about five years ago. It is called ‘The Big Deal’ and represents the drug dealing that JPS witnessed in his home town of Weston-super-Mare.
Knowing what the piece represents adds a layer of sophistication to the two young and ‘innocent’ characters that appear to have appeared from the 1960s (we all dressed like this in those days) although the box over the shoulder of one of the children might be a wartime gas mask. I cannot explain just how much I love this piece, which is on Carlton Street in Weston-super-Mare, not only because of its quality of a piece, but also of how it engaged directly with me and drew me in. My favourite.
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.
More from JPS in his home town, with this delightful young gladiator stencil. I don’t know the back-story to this piece, but there surely is one. The young bespectacled gladiator is holding up a keyboard for a shield, is this a metaphor? Is the boy hiding behind his technology? Is the character someone we know, a famous person?
As ever the stencil is stunningly well executed and the quality is really noticeable in the detail on the keyboard. If you are a fan of JPS’ work then a trip to WSM is an absolute must, and part of the fun is in finding these stencils dotted around the town.
Since acquiring a dog two years ago, I have managed to turn taking him for walks to my advantage, visiting street art hotspots in Bristol and beyond in the name of exercise duty. One such ‘walk’ was in the form of a day trip last summer that he and I took to Weston-super-Mare. Here he is photobombing a fabulous Yoda stencil by JPS. The dog actually only makes rare appearances on Natural Adventures despite being with me for most of my photography sessions.
Having just seen the final film of the Star Wars saga, it feels appropriate to post this piece at this time, and JPS has as you would expect turned out a masterful piece he has. The pictures are a bit bleached out, an artefact of me getting used to photo editor and not making a great job of it.
Incidentally, the dog pee on the Yoda was absolutely not the work of my animal, he has far too much respect for street artists.
I don’t know Weston-super-Mare all that well, in fact I think I have only ever been there three times in my whole life. The most recent trip was just me with the dog and a camera. As I looked for street art, I tried to make a note of where I was or take pictures of street names, but this little back alley managed to keep off my radar, so I am calling it back alley.
The rather troubling piece at the end of the alleyway is a leprachaun painted onto a black door by JPS. The stencil is one layer, but most effective in this rather creepy place. I expect that the character is from a horror film, but not being a fan of the genre, I don’t know which one.
All artists derive their influences from somewhere. Sometimes these influences are overtly acknowledged and deliberately expressed in their work, and this stencil by JPS is one such example. There is more than a simple nod to Banksy in this piece called ‘balloon girl’.
There used to be a stencil of balloon girl (with red balloons) in Park Row in Bristol, but I don’t think it is there any more. I think, more than any other artist, Jps’ work is often mistaken for the work of Banksy, and it is not hard to see why. Love this piece.