There was a period early last year, when it felt like every available space in multiple spots was being filled with a portrait mega-tag by Asre, aka Runaway Joey. These distinctive characters are based on the same central core elements, but they are ‘pimped’, so that each has a distinctive look and theme. This is a mini-gallery of pieces by Asre from April last year. At another point in time, I will have to do another of these galleries to sweep up a bunch of other Asre pieces in the first half of 2022.
This was a small piece in Jamaica Street that reflects the basic character template.
A Moon Street cheeky character wearing a red hat, beautifully picked out with the customary three layered thick border.
Asre shows his versatility with this quick column piece under the M32.
Rounding off this mini-gallery with a piece behind the fence in Dean Lane, this time the character is wearing a blue hat.
One of the curious things is that Asre’s prolific activity simply dropped off a cliff later in the year, so I guess there might have been a lifestyle change at some point. It would be nice to think that he will return to our streets in due course.
How has it taken me so long to post one hundred pieces from my beloved Moon Street? I guess, in recent years, painting here has reduced as the gentrification of the area has taken a grip, and so it is not so much of a graffiti destination, with artists preferring St Werburghs, Bedminster, St Paul’s or the River Avon. However, we do stopill get some beauties down there, including this very Zake, Zake character piece.
The rather disturbing face, exaggerated by its asymmetry, is arresting to say the very least. A slight reversion to his early form of portrait, his strengths come to the fore, especially his use of shading and highlights to create depth of features on the face. A worthy piece for my one hundredth Moon Street post.
One of the most enjoyable things about Kid Krishna’s work is that he has breathed a little bit of life back into Stokes Croft. Over the years, gentrification of the area has led to a decline in available graffiti walls and a commensurate dwindling interest in spray-painting in the area. Not Kid Krishna though, he seems to favour Stokes Croft, and that is a good thing.
This piece perfectly illustrates Kid Krishna’s style of long straight letters on a single colour background. I still find his cryptic writing very difficult to read, but I am sure the penny will drop one day. I am guessing that this says KRISHNA, and I can see elements of those letters, but who knows? More to come from this relatively new-to-Bristol artist.
On one of my favourite walls, in one of my favourite streets, by one of my favourite artists. This is a lovely piece by Face 1st, and something of a new idea, with a bit of fragmentation going on in the girl’s smiling face. As is usually the case, the hair spells out FACE.
This is a piece that is not only well painted, but also is full of energy and movement. It is pieces like this one that remind me how much I love photographing and following street art in Bristol, seeing and capturing talent and beauty. Time to update my Face 1st gallery, as he has been on a very productive streak lately.
Often associated with Face 1st, Moon Street has a new kid on the block in the shape of Kid Krishna, whose work has been appearing all over Bristol over recent months. This is the first of his pieces to appear on Natural Adventures and highly unlikely to be his last.
Kid Krishna’s writing is very distinctive, with long thin letters, looking like planks of wood stacked in a pile. I believe the letters spell out KRISHNA, but I could be mistaken, such is the disguise. Expect to see a whole lot. Ore from the artist in this blog, I already have a considerable back-catalogue of his work in my archive. Definitely something creative and different.
Face 1st seems to be going through a joyous renaissance these days and has painted several wonderful character pieces that simply ooze happiness – maybe it is a reflection of the artist’s disposition, I certainly hope so When I think about Bristol street art, front of mind is always this combination of Face 1st and Moon Street, two factors that kindled my interest back in 2015.
This magnificent dancing girl, having a great time in her yellow dress and red shoes, simply oozes fun and joy, suggesting a great night out. Although I love pretty much everything Face 1st does, the freedom and expression in these large character pieces definitely brings out the best in him. An instant favourite.
Many of you will know that Moon Street is one of my absolute favourite street art spots, although that accolade has possibly moved on a little in recent years due to the gentrification of the area. But even now, Face 1st continues to brighten the place up with his inimitable and irrepressible style, making me feel very much at home with this lovely piece.
Face 1st was one of the very first street artists I became familiar with, but it was a few years before I got to meet him in person. His work is at the heart of what I care about, and this piece is just so joyful and typical of the atmosphere he creates around his work. The girl with green hair in red dungarees is full of cheek and movement. My eye keeps getting drawn to the underside of her left shoe… it is completely absorbing. A nice piece to start the weekend with.
Even though the turnover of street/graffiti art in Moon Street is nothing like it used to be, it is still worth wandering down there from time to time, to pick up beauties like this one from Sled One. I think that the whole Stokes Croft area has become a bit of a graffiti wilderness, while it decides what impact the local gentrification has had on the sub-culture. Of course, many of the artists simply paint elsewhere, and there are many more of them in Bristol than there were only two or three years ago.
Sled One, however, has returned to Moon Street and painted a classic piece of writing, so typical of this talented artist. The letters spell out SLED, and the numeral ‘1’ completes his name. the design is balanced and well-proportioned and the fill colours contrast neatly with the black and gold patterned background. I imagine that Sled One probably knocked this one off in an hour or two, but he has managed to keep it utterly onm-point. Great work.
I photographed this piece on the day I first met Runaway Joey, or Asre as he signs himself. He was painting another face only yards away from this one. We stopped for quite a long chat, and I was touched to find out that he not only knew who I was but also had been chatting with his friends about me and what I do, later describing me as a ‘top bloke’ in an Instagram post later that day. It is so gratifying to know that that some of the artists I write about have read this blog and appreciate what I do here. For the record, Asre is a really decent guy who made plenty of time for a chat about his work. I look forward to meeting him again.
This wall used to ‘belong’ to Laic217, and is one of my favourite walls in Bristol (definitely a candidate for my ‘one wall, many faces’ series of posts). The face from Asre is rather more elaborate than some that he paints, with rather scary teeth, a green face and a magnificent crown. There is something menacing and slightly evil about this piece, which also introduces some different elements to the typical format Asre uses for this series. There is so much more to post from Asre, I am struggling to know where to begin. I have some much better photographs of this and will try to replace these when I have a moment.
It was while he was just setting up to paint this piece that I met Klashwhensober for the second or third time… I came back a couple of days later to photograph the final piece. This is another classic from the artist who never stops, and features his ‘Klash’ variant of letters.
I am guessing that Klashwhensober has painted these letter forms so many times that the interest comes from the fills, and here he has added interest with some touches of red and orange at the top left and bottom right and connected them with ribbons of red. I’m not sure what it all represents, but it is a nice irregular effect. When we spoke, he told me about another of his pieces in a hoarding opposite, so I have included it here for good measure.
I believe that Klashwhensober had painted a piece here before, but it had been overpainted, so he returned to claim back the spot. This piece spells out SOBA and once again the interest here is in his use of fill patterns. The three horizontally graded colours are augmented with stars, circles, rods and little curved bars. There is so much more to share with ypou from this artist, but I don’t know how I’m going to squeeze him in. I’ll have to find a way.