There is a very strong relationship between street art and tattoo art, for example, some of Bristol’s best street artists; 3Dom, Sepr and Chill, among others, are also tattoo artists. So it is no surprise to learn that Helen Harper, who painted this gorgeous lion at the Cheltenham Paint Festival is also a tattoo artist.
There are three elements to this piece that work nicely together. The black background has some swirly patterning, and the lion’s face is painted in a greyscale that works well with the background. Encircling the lion’s face is a circular burst of colour, radiating outwards. This is the first piece that I have seen by Helen Harper, but I look forward to seeing more in the future.
It is such a pleasure to welcome back Roo to Bristol, after her summer visit for Upfest’s 75 walls in 75 days. This superb lion was painted, I assume, at the same time as SkyHigh, her partner, painted a piece a few yards away (to come). This is not the first time Roo has painted at this spot, and one of her previous pieces remained for a very long time, demonstrating the respect graffiti artists have for her work.
The cartoon lion is simply (I want to use the word adorable, but it is a rather patronising word and I don’t want to be patronising) gorgeous (still the wrong word) and gives off a sense of mischief and fun. Roo crafts these amazing animal characters with great skill using big bold designs and colours while not over-complicating things and keeping it simple. Roo and SkyHigh have visited Bristol a fair bit this year, I reckon they should just move and make things better for all of us.
Daz Cat is knocking himself out with some really wonderful and creative work at the moment and this fine lion column piece at the M32 Spot is a prime example. The quote at the bottom would have remained a mystery to me, but luckily Paulh121 wrote up this piece on his instagram feed and had this to say (sorry Paul for borrowing your words, I hope you don’t mind):
‘Ye Are Many They Are Few Ye Are Many’ and so says @dazcatgraff and indeed so did English poet Shelley back in 1819 when the poem ‘The Masque Of Anarchy’ from which this quote has been taken, although it wasn’t published until 1832.
The piece itself is full of movement, emotion and I might say rage, perhaps a commentary about the terrible times we live in, and the catastrophic and selfish Prime Minister who will lead us to misery for the many and prosperity for the few. Even if the piece has nothing to do with that, it at least inspired me to say it.
DNT has a unique style that is difficult to describe sometimes. He has an interesting and thoughtful choice in colours in most of his work and the subject of his paintings often seem to be rather free and fluid, almost as if he created it on the spot. I’m not sure if that is how he works, but that is how it comes across to me.
This piece, on one of my favourite walls, is a striking lion’s head which kind of emerges from a background of about five strong colours. It is incredible how the face and mane stand out with all the busyness going on. While this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I am rather drawn to it. Certainly it is unusual. I met DNT for the first time last week and he seems to be a really nice guy, larger than life and interesting, and in the short conversation we had, I can certainly see where some of his creativity and difference come from.
I have not been able to get out and about much recently so I think I might have missed quite a lot of street art that has since been overwritten. I was lucky enough to have found this little lion playing the high hats by Roo.
Roo, I think, is a London-based artist who I know often paints with SkyHigh. When I see this, I wonder whether I might have missed something from SkyHigh or whether Roo just happened to be travelling in Bristol solo. Whatever, this is a rather tidy souvenir from his visit.
Sometimes I am too lazy for my own good, not an attractive quality, and one that I think I might have managed to pass on to my offspring. Not too far from where I live is the Golden Lion pub on Gloucester Road. I had heard that Sepr was giving it a bit of a face lift, but just hadn’t passed that way with my camera, and rather than make a special trip to get some decent photographs, I hopped out of the car and took these with my cell phone.
It was a wet and cold day, and I noticed afterwards that all my pictures were a bit misty, but rather than go up there and take some decent ones, the lazy in me took over, and here you are with some not so great pictures of a wonderful mural from the not lazy Sepr.
This piece really is outstanding and it is so good that in Bristol we have plenty of establishments that will commission our great artists to produce great work like this.
Perching high above the bustle and noise of Allen Street is this magnificent and regal lion by Sonny. It really is an outstanding piece and one of my favourites from my trip to New York.
This is the second piece by Sonny I have featured from this trip, the first was a tiger in SoHo. His work in both these pieces has woven in patterns and colour to a quarter of the portrait that looks so natural and part of the animal itself.
This piece, and indeed this street, should be on any street art hunter’s wish list.
Well here’s the ton up and it’s still only November…who knows I might actually complete my Upfest 2017 posts before Upfest 2018! This is a beautiful piece by Rory McCann who has used his art to help him overcome his childhood health problems with arthrtis. His passion for drawing in those early years has grown to larger scale murals.
Much of his work is about the environment and wildlife in the hope that it will help people to connect with nature. So far he has painted more than 80 large murals in schools, hospitals and public spaces, some of which you can see on his website. This Upfest lion is a stunner – those eyes! One of the truly memorable pieces this year – it was a pity it was a bit tucked away in the Ashton Gate stadium entrance as his work surely deserves more exposure.