Sometimes you glance a piece of street art when driving about the place and make a mental note to go back on foot. This is one of those, and well worth the legwork to find it. It is a beautiful stencil of an owl by Kin Dose, which I figured was several years old, but is probably less than 18 months old if streetview is anything to go by.
The first observation is that this spot is a prime location for a stencil. Blocked out windows like this always make such fantastic framed backdrops for street art. I think that this is a barn owl, and the stencil is in very much the same style as his 2018 Upfest stencils, with the animal sprayed over a coloured swirl background. When I spoke to Kin Dose earlier this summer, he said that he has moved away from doing stencils because the cutting out process is tedious and he is preferring his spray-brush style at the moment. Lovely piece.
My oh my! Nick Harvey, who paints his street art under the name Kin Dose, has created something very special indeed for Upfest’s Summer Editions project. Although it is a pity that there is no festival this year, there has been ample compensation in the form of these ‘special’ pieces spread across the city, with more to come over the summer.
I knew that Kin Dose was painting a piece, so took the opportunity to go down and watch him work for a while. I have been an admirer of his work for a few years now, ever since I first became aware of him – it was his cat with black eyes at the Carriageworks that first captivated me. It is so good to be able to watch an artist at work and Kin Dose was sketching out the piece the first time I saw it. I asked him quite a few questions (probably too many) and was able to find out quite a lot about him and his work.
He came to Bristol a few years ago and had been known as both Kin and Dose, so combined both to give him his current street name. He used to do a lot of stencils, but said he has become a bit tired of them and no longer enjoys the fiddly cutting element of the technique. Recently he has been doing a lot more photorealistic stuff, and this one must surely be the jewel in the crown.
He explained that he perfected his technique through using air brushes to create these photorealistic pieces, and he also uses a lot of cardboard cut out shapes to mask areas and create sharp, clean lines. I asked if that was cheating and he said absolutely not, which made me feel a lot better, because I have been using card to create straight lines on my own rudimentary efforts.
The piece took about five or six days to complete, and it is amazing to see how a sketched out blur can turn into something quite magnificent. The piece is almost two paintings in one, the girl’s face and the tiger brought together on a cosmic backdrop.
I’m not too sure what the piece is telling us, but I suspect it is something to do with a connection with nature. The tiger’s head is really stunning and holds a captivating expression. His technique is remarkable, it is almost impossible to understand how he gets such fine detail into the fur and whiskers.
Another triumph for Upfest, and anotherr great addition to Kin Dose’s impressive portfolio.
So, continuing on from my last post, it seems almost inconceivable that the same artist could paint two street masterpieces on the same building in the space of a couple of weeks, but somehow Kin Dose has done it and pulled it off with consummate style.
In this second piece the artist has created a scene with an oriental ‘Hokusai’ sea and waves harbouring a lotus flower and koi carp. In the centre of the sea is an island with an ornate dragon whose face is highlighted by a full moon.
This piece is rather difficult to photograph because of the nature of the wall, which incorporates a staircase, and the amount of street furniture knocking around, so I would recommend that any Bristolian reading this gets themself down to Nelson Street to witness this for themselves.
The dragon is beautifully painted and nicely detailed, but it is the amazing contrast with the red sky and white moon that really lifts this beast from the wall. The tail of the dragon disappears into the sea to the left of the piece.
The whole thing is magnificent. How much more can Kin Dose give?
I am struggling to write this post, mainly because I am lost for words at how very good the mural by Kin Dose, just off Nelson Street in the centre of town, is. In my view this is a worldie and we are honoured and privileged to see a wall of such beauty in Bristol.
The whole scene is of a beautiful geisha under the shade of a paper parasol gracefully holding out her hand upon which a splendid kingfisher sits. This is close to street art perfection, and were it not for the bloody wheelie bins, which I attempted to move, it would pretty much be there.
The background to the piece is composed of layers of graffiti and burners blended into a japanese scene of mountains and buildings. There is something similar to the style of PichiAvo in this.
The face of the geisha is absolutely beautiful and not in any way overcomplicated. The flowers cascading from her hair add a real touch of class. The last component of the piece is the kingfisher perching on her hand.
I feel it would be wrong not to point out that the kingfisher is a small bird, and in this piece, ever so slightly out of proportion. But I am nit-picking and I hate myself for it, because this is a truly wonderous piece and really ups the game for the high-end street art talent in this great city. Bravo! Kin Dose.
But it gets even better. Not content with creating one oriental wall on this building, Kin Dose returned to paint a second one a week or so later…see my next post.
Blink and you might miss it! Sited right next to one of the best collaborations in this part of Bristol that I can remember, between Smak and Sled One (to follow very soon), is this beautiful cat stencil by the utterly awesome Kin Dose.
Continuing on from his Upfest utility box theme, Kin Dose has blessed those right in the centre of Bristol with this little gift. Looking rather innocuous and disguised as a bit of tagging many citizens will have walked by without noticing this charming piece. Suggestion… get yourself down there and take a look.
Kin Dose is a Bristol artist who doesn’t hit the streets too often, but at Upfest 2018 he really excelled himself, spraying several wildlife stencils along the North Street area. This is the second one I have featured in Natural Adventures.
This piece, a bat of some description, is perfectly fitted to the utility box on which it appears, and kind of blends in a little so as almost to be invisible to the passer-by. You can tell, at Upfest, the difference between general visitors and street art ‘hunters’ as the latter are always looking at every wall, every door, every side street, every lamp-post, every utility box, in fact pretty much everything, whereas the former tend to stroll along chatting and seeing art almost passively.
Lost my thread a bit there…anyhow, this piece, along with its partners is something really special, which is what Kin Dose does so well. Special.
Another fabulous Halloween treat, this time from Kin Dose just a stone’s throw away from Dean Lane skate park, where I left Rusk who had tipped me off about this fresh piece.
I have seen better pictures of this wall from people who were lucky enough to be here when the sun wasn’t casting shadows all over the place. I seem to be making lots of excuses about poor quality pictures at the moment, but I have to take the shots when I can as I never know when I am going to be back, and tagging and turnover are the enemies of archivists.
Kin Dose is an extraordinarily talented artist whose work is always of the highest standard. He doesn’t do an awful lot of street work, but whenever he does it is always beautifully executed. Comfortable with stencils as well as free hand work he really sets a very high bar.
This piece faithfully reproduces characters from Tim Burton’s ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’. It is so crisp and clean and although in partial shade I felt lucky to see it in its first full day of being on this wall. A real beauty.