The second half of 2020 was not a productive one for Decay, in terms of street work, so it was great to see some new pieces during the Christmas holiday break. This is a very neat and tidy Christmas piece on the M32 cycle path.
I think that this is the first piece I have seen in Bristol since August, although he did make an appearance at the Cheltenham Paint Festival in September that I haven’t posted yet (note to self – post a few more from the festival soon). In this nicely styled piece spelling out DECAY, his little character, Chuck, is greeting us with a Christmas Ho ho ho! It will be interesting to see what happens with the new hard national lockdown imposed yesterday. I expect some artists will make time to get out and about and others may go to ground. We shall see.
This piece was painted a little while back by Decay, but I decided to dig it out because it marks further experimentation from an artist, who, when I first met him only painted in black, white, red and grey colours. His artistic journey has blossomed over the last three or so years and his pieces are becoming more and more interesting as a result.
Most unusually, Decay has gone for orange and purple colours with green highlights and arrows. More unusually he hasn’t used black outlines for his letters, although his little Chuck character does have an outline. Spelling out DECAY, I see this piece as pivotal in the artist really pushing himself to try new ideas. I love the orange splashes above the A. Looking forward to more developments.
This might look like a solo piece by Decay, but it is actually a collaboration between Decay and Sludge. Now I don’t know much (or indeed anything) about the latter artist, but it appears the pair teamed up at least twice recently, and this is one of those combined efforts.
The work has all the hallmarks of a fabulous Decay burner painted with some bright colours and the customary red Chuck character, but it is the geometric form in the centre in green and purple and some of the surrounding decorations that have been provided by Sludge. As a whole, the piece is bursting with colour and energy – a confection almost. I love it.
This was a quiet one from Decay that snuck out without fanfare. It is great to see Decay experimenting with some new paint textures and ideas, such as spraying large clouds of paint on the wall as a kind of backdrop to his writing.
The white shading in the letters has a kind of distressed effect, something interior decorators were particularly fond of in the 1980s. The whole thing is high-class and exactly what you’d expect from Decay. There are two crew names on the piece that are HTM – Hold the Mustard, and LRS – Last Radical Souls, they are a loosely based crew operating all over the world since 2001.
When people say to me ‘I didn’t recognise you at first with your beard’ I know that I haven’t seen that person for at least five months, and that was the opening of my conversation with Decay recently at a paint jam at the M32 roundabout recently.
Not only was it good to catch up, but it was also amazing watching him bring this piece together. One of the first parts that he added was the large splatters of grey paint, using a rather interesting contraption attached to the cap.
Decay works so effortlessly and with such mastery of his lettering that witnessing this piece coming together was like watching something magical unfold. I believe it to be one of his finest pieces to date and that is a very high bar indeed.
There is a lot going on in this piece, but somehow it looks very simple. Perhaps the lack of black outlines for the letters adds to the simple feel, but the complexity lies in the shades of grey and shadows and the injections of colour and shapes. I love this piece, top notch.
At the south entrance to St Werburghs tunnel is this wonderful piece from Decay that just kind of appeared under the radar in a modest and quiet way. I love it when that happens, no fanfare, just an appearance… as if by magic.
Decay has managed to introduce a gentle and light summery feel to this piece, and a really clever touch is the light grey shadings at the lower half of the letters that give the piece body and lift it out from the wall a little. The more observant of you might notice that this is a BLM piece and the ‘Chuck’ character makes a second appearance on the left hand side wall with BLM speech bubble.
This piece by Decay on the M32 roundabout is from a short while ago, but my first atempt at photographing it was foiled by the sun casting the shadow of a tree across the whole wall and utterly confusing my camera. I had to wait for a dull day!
In keeping with Decay’s ‘new look’ for 2020 he has painted his customary moniker over another word in a full caps, the other word in this instance being DECAY, so we have here a double Decay. I am liking this new concept a lot and am looking forward to where it takes us for the rest of the year.
Another New Year collaboration, they are coming thick and fast, this time from Decay and Lens. Decay is of course well known to me and to readers of Natural Adventures, but this is a debut piece for Lens, which is perhaps not at all surprising given that he comes from Melbourne, Australia and is just visiting.
I do like it when artists from different places hook up and paint together, it makes for a terrific sense of community. This Decay half of this combo is everything we would come to expect from the artist and ticks so many boxes… the shapes of the letters, the extravagant fills and the little ‘motion’ highlights in black on the outside of the lettering to give a sense of movement and energy to the whole piece. Perfect.
Using a similar colour palette to Decay’s, Lens has an altogether different letter shape, much more angular with sharp edges and corners. Lens’ fills and decorations are absolutely magnificent, and this is an accomplished piece of graffiti writing. It is so good to see some work from an Australian artist, and it is great to see that Lens has included a little shout out to Rezwonk, who often teams up with Decay, a nice touch.
Here we have yet another outstanding example of fabulous writing from Decay whose pieces have been an absolute highlight in Bristol this year and my goodness, there have been a great many of them – Check some of them out in this gallery.
In this one Decay has gone for his customary letter shapes, but the fill has a kind of smokey atmospheric feel to it, and the white accents give it a wonderful 3D effect. As always, his little character ‘Chuck’ makes up the letter E in the word DECAY. A lovely piece of writing.
How fabulous to see a Decay piece in his old stomping ground of Cheltenham and what a stunner it is too. This writing, that we are all so familiar with has been given the ‘hades’ treatment, looking like the fiery colours of the Earth’s core. Actually it is a bit of a protest piece and has a message: ‘Flames rage while the Amazon burns’
I visited the festival twice, once on the Friday and again on the Saturday, but although I missed Decay painting this, I did catch up with him for a short while, and as ever it was a real pleasure. Like so many of his peers, he is so modest about his work which really has hit a new level this year.