Diff is a Bristol street artist who is horribly under-represented on Natural Adventures, and although I have published a few of his pieces before, I still have several in my archives. I will have to dig them out. This most recent piece, for Upfest is a real winner in my view.
There is something rather tender and touching about the stencil piece, and the positioning and posture of the kissing characters is just about perfect. Young love beautifully captured in a contemporary way. Such a pity this piece was only on view for two days – perhaps he could recreate it somewhere else in Bristol… hint, hint.
This is another piece that was created as part of Upfest 2015. It sits in the covered car park area immediately behind the Tobacco Factory and is by Bristol-trained artist Stephen Quick. On his website, he describes his work as follows:
“My art mainly represents contemporary culture via pop art; I embrace our materialistic nature, which often defines who we are”
I don’t think he does a lot of street art, which may make this piece rather unusual. At first I wondered if it was a studio piece that was placed here, but I think the spray paint has overlapped onto the fence behind and that it was probably painted in situ. In my view, however it was executed, it is a great work – lovely drips.
One of the things I love about Bristol is the tight street art community that exists here, it feels like something really significant and special. I guess all cities with well developed graffiti scenes feel the same. It is really nice though when visitors come and spray the streets and bring something different with them.
This is an established piece in Picton Lane by RUN with some additions by Rowdy (who kind of owns this lane).RUN, you might remember is responsible for this wonderful piece in London, and I believe he has been busy in Camden just recently. Here we have a colourful celebration of love and friendship, expressed on the slightly unlikely front and doors of a small local garage.
Men kissing might be the subject of scorn or defacing, but not here. Bristol is a tolerant and progressive city and this subject matter barely turns heads, which (apart from the masterful artwork) is how it should be.
I love the sharp lines and colours of RUN’s work. You might spot a Rowdy crocodile sitting on what looks like a London cab on one of the panels too. A fun piece from RUN – you’re welcome to return anytime.
With one month to go before the referendum to decide on whether Great Britain should stay in the European Union, things are hotting up. This is an extraordinary commission from a group who are encouraging voters to remain in the EU. The wall is where the Bruno Smoky ‘burning house‘ piece was.
I was lucky enough to see the artist working on this piece on my way to work yesterday morning. I stopped and chatted with him, while he painted. He is Felix (FLX) Braun, one of the original Bristol street artists and author of ‘children of the can‘ a seminal book cataloging the birth and growth of Bristol street art. Felix is one half of the Paintsmiths who created this tribute to Mibsy.
We had a great discussion about the tagging that seems to be everywhere in Bristol at the moment, and he views it very much as part of the development of the whole graffiti art scene. He does a lot of work with youth groups, often from difficult backgrounds, and teaches them to spray and develop their skills. I believe he also works with art students at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
The piece itself is a deliberately provocative and grotesque image of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson kissing…so much crazy hair! The intention is for the image, and others like it, to go viral, thus reaching and encouraging young voters to register and vote on the day of the referendum. It is known that younger people are much more pro EU than people over 60, but are less likely to vote.
I will be playing my part by using the limited means I have on digital media to reach as many people as possible with this message.
Technically this is a great piece by a great artist, and although a commission, has all the hallmarks of the ‘Bristol thing’ about it. I love it.