4968. Purdown (50)

Kool Hand, Purdown, Bristol, January 2023
Kool Hand, Purdown, Bristol, January 2023

My last visit to Purdown ended up being rather fruitful, which isn’t always the case. I have been up there to walk the dog of late and there has been absolutely nothing worth photographing, that is until now.

Kool Hand, Purdown, Bristol, January 2023
Kool Hand, Purdown, Bristol, January 2023

This is a rather nice crocodile piece by Kool Hand that has a little bit of a story going on. It looks like our croc friend is little hungry, tempted by a swimmer’s feet overhead. A but of fun on a small piece of wartime concrete from Kool Hand.

4937. Spake Evans Park (60)

Face 1st, Kool Hand and Soap, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022
Face 1st, Kool Hand and Soap, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022

I think that 2022 was the most prolific year for Bristol street/graffiti art ever. More artists joined the already large cohort, and it would seem that many of them painted more often than before. Of course, this is counterbalanced a little by the departure of some artists, and others going to ground for sustained periods. Overall, though, it was a bumper year. What this means is that there are way too many great pieces that were left ‘on the cutting room floor’, so the next few posts will be an attempt to dig out some of the pieces I simply didn’t have time to post during the year. Starting in January 2022 with this splendid collaboration between Face 1st, Kool Hand and Soap.

Face 1st, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022
Face 1st, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022

I have a feeling that the reason I didn’t post this at the time is that my first round of photographs were sun/shade impacted – this is a spot to be photographed on dull days. To the left is a typically happy piece from Face 1st, that really set the tone for the joy he spread for the rest of the year.

Kool Hand, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022
Kool Hand, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022

The middle section was painted by Kool Hand, with this really on-point crocodile holding a marker pen. I was chatting with Face 1st earlier this week, and he said that he felt that this piece really demonstrated how Kool Hand had moved up a level, and I would definitely agree.

Soap, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022
Soap, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022

Finally, (and it is always finally, because Soap always paints on the right-hand side of a collaboration) we have a superbly expressive piece of writing from Soap, one of his very best, in my opinion, with stacks of movement and interest. Even if you can’t quite read his letters, he has signed the piece with his tag three times for good measure. I am so sorry you have had to wait a whole year for this one.

4925. M32 Roundabout J3 (442)

Kool Hand, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2022
Kool Hand, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2022

Kool Hand has been a steady presence on the streets of Bristol in recent months, and each time his work is improving and diversifying. This dog character was recently painted in the St Agnes tunnel of the M32 roundabout alongside Daz Cat and Zake.

Kool Hand, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2022
Kool Hand, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2022

Although relatively simple in design, this character has been perfectly finished. The fills are solid, the feature lines add interest and depth and the border is very clean. Set on an interesting orange buffed background, the piece stands out clearly. There are a few nice bubbles too, filling the blank space.

4707. St Werburghs tunnel (309)

Kool Hand and Daz Cat, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2022
Kool Hand and Daz Cat, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2022

I really enjoy these occasional collaborations from Daz Cat and Kool Hand, who have been teaming up for several years now. Their creations are steadily becoming more sophisticated and intricate as each of the artists improves and develops.

Kool Hand and Daz Cat, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2022
Kool Hand and Daz Cat, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2022

Both artists have created characters on hoverboards, cruising through a deep red, starlit sky. Kool Hand has a crocodile on a ‘Silver Surfer’ kind of board and Daz Cat has painted an elaborate Ms cat with loads of detail in the face and clothing. The whole thing is an effective and atmospheric work, creating an exciting and dynamic scene.

4701. Dean Lane skate park (527)

Ryder, T-Rex, Conrico and Kool hand, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2022
Ryder, T-Rex, Conrico and Kool hand, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2022

This is another offering from the Dean Lane Hardcore (DLH) event a couple of weeks ago, and is an unusual collaboration between T-Rex, Ryder, Conrico and Kool Hand, which makes the whole thing rather special. Entitled ‘All skaters are b*stards’, the collaboration is clearly poking a bit of fun at skaters, at what is at its heart a skating event.

Ryder, T-Rex, Conrico and Kool hand, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2022
Ryder, T-Rex, Conrico and Kool hand, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2022

T-Rex that’s us to one of her classic dinosaurs, with a flying pig in a frying pan overhead by Ryder.  Conrico has reproduced one of his classic Bugs Bunny pieces with the inclusion of a skate board (see below), and the collaboration is hounded off with a Kool Hand Orangutan. The whole piece is a bit of an eclectic gathering, but utterly appropriate for the event. Great to see.

Conrico, M32 Spot, Bristol, February 2021
Conrico, M32 Spot, Bristol, February 2021

4647. M32 Cycle path (183)

Kool Hand, M32 cycle path Bristol, August 2022
Kool Hand, M32 cycle path Bristol, August 2022

Good morning. Back to work for me today after a fabulous family break. I would be lying if I said I were looking forward to going back to work, and the next few days are going to be particularly tough, but I will get back into the swing of things and do the stuff I do well… and one day I will retire, when we can afford to.

Kool Hand, M32 cycle path Bristol, August 2022
Kool Hand, M32 cycle path Bristol, August 2022

This new piece from Kool Hand has been painted on a section of wall that has remained unchanged for about a year, so it was refreshing to see something new. Kool Hand has been super-busy lately and this is a rather nice piece in four tones (six if you include the background) featuring a crocodile with a roller and Posca pen, out to do his best. The piece is very nicely done, with clever use of shading with tones, and the Clifton suspension bridge in the background is something we all love in Bristol as it gives the work that local flavour. A very nice piece from Kool Hand.

4560. St Werburghs tunnel (299)

With the very congested field of artists currently painting in Bristol, and the addition of Upfest and a trip to Porto, my cup overfloweth with captured images of street art (I am still covering June art!). It is important that in all this excitement I don’t ignore our good old regulars who paint day in and day out to keep our walls decorated.

Kool Hand, St Werburghs, Bristol, June 2022
Kool Hand, St Werburghs, Bristol, June 2022

This is a lovely piece in the tunnel from Kool Hand, featuring his orangutan character using a spray can with pink paint to decorate the tunnel walls. The piece is framed in a black bordered rectangle, which almost looks like a window into the orangutan’s world. A nice stand alone piece.

4299. M32 roundabout J3 (391)

Kool Hand is an interesting artist who appears to have returned to Bristol after spending a while in London. I’m not sure if that piece of information is correct, but I base it on where he was posting his work on hisd Instagram account. Whatever, he is definitely now in Bristol and painting like there was no tomorrow.

Kool Hand, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2022
Kool Hand, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2022

Kool Hand has been broadening his portfolio considerably lately, adding to his trademark Orangutan ‘stamp’. I believe this piece is based on an axolotl (a newt-like creature from Mexico, that you can keep as a pet). The six fronds around the head represent the gills of the axolotl. This piece certainly stands out and grabs the attention and continues the development of content for the artist. Pretty in pink.

4270. Greenbank (27)

In this piece we have something a little different from Kool Hand, different and really interesting. Painted alongside the unforgettable sushi box by Conrico, this is a letter/portrait combo.

Kool Hand, Greenbank, Bristol, February 2022
Kool Hand, Greenbank, Bristol, February 2022

The letters are ‘KH’ for Kool Hand and are being sprayed by the character. The character is unlike anything I have seen from Kool Hand before and may mark a shift in direction for his work. I am excited to see where this development takes us. A work nicely done.

4189. St Werburghs tunnel (272)

It has been great to see Kool Hand returning to the streets lately, hooking up with various friends to paint with them. I have a feeling that he might have been in London, or certainly out of Bristol, for a little while, but has been in Bristol over the winter and sprayed quite a few pieces of which this is one.

Kool Hand, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2021
Kool Hand, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2021

This misbehaving orangutan piece is part of a larger collaboration that I will return to at some point in the future. Kool Hand has taken his little character and made him a little bigger and animated him a little more than usual, which is great to see. I’m never too sure about street art with guns though, it somehow doesn’t sit well with me. Is this way too woke? Nice to see Kool Hand back I. Town.