This post contains two things I love about Bristol street art; Moon Street and Laic217. I think that Moon Street was central to my love for street and graffiti art, as it was on my walking route to work, along with The Bearpit. Both are, sadly, spots in decline. The Bearpit has been sanitised and painted with anti-graffiti paint, and Moon Street is on the edge of a huge gentrification development programme in the Stokes Croft area, and fewer artists visit these days, preferring other less disturbed spots.
This nice trippy skeleton piece is by Laic217, and I think I have said enough in previous posts about how much I enjoy his work. Three things stand out for me, the lovely folds in the hoodie material, the pink glasses and the smiley bucket hat. This piece couldn’t possibly be by anyone else.
Here he is again, the beating heart, the drum-beat of Bristol graffiti art reassuring us that all’s well. Face 1st has painted this doorway in Moon Street many times in the past, but his visits to this holy place for graffiti, along with visits of other artists, have declined in frequency since the area started undergoing some major gentrification. Soon Moon Street and the nearby hotspots for street art and graffiti will be mere memories, embedded in photographic archives and digital spaces. The Bristol scene will continue to thrive though, I am sure, just in different places.
This piece is similar to one that Face 1st painter on the M32 roundabout a couple of weeks back, with a lot of pink bubblegum kind of stuff going on with the character’s hair. I think that Face 1st must have had a job lot of pink and needed to use it up. Always good and always present. Fun from this PWA perennial.
Moon Street, once one of the most vibrant and active graffiti streets in Bristol has become something of a forgotten backwater since the gentrification tsunami struck the Stokes Croft area about two years ago. Since that time decent pieces are few and far between, but every now and again there is a little gem, like this dazzling piece from Lee Roy.
Everything about this one screams out ‘look at me.. I’m here and I want to be seen’. As I have said in an earlier post of a piece from Lee Roy, he seems to have gone into overdrive in the last few weeks and is chucking up his unique brand of graffiti writing all over the city. I particularly like this one though. Great for the somber mood we seem to find ourselves in these days.
It has been sad to witness the downfall of graffiti spots in the Stokes Croft area under the relentless march of gentrification. I understand that redevelopment is part and parcel of the growing up of a city, it is just a shame that local communities and cultures are swept aside, without any allowance for them. For example the creation of ‘legal walls’ to keep that ‘feel’ of an area. Obviously that goes against the proliferation of clinical, sanitised, overpriced housing that we see emerging in towns and cities across the country.
It is the lack of imagination and creativity that is so upsetting, almost as if town planners and corporate architects have had their ‘fun chips’ removed. It is all about squeezing as much profit out of every square inch of land, no regard for local communities or indeed the natural environment. I don’t see much in the way of creation of proper green spaces accompanying the gentrification agenda. Let’s line our pockets with gold. Greedy fools.
There won’t be many more posts from Moon Street, is my guess, because of this relentless building programme, and many street/graffiti artists seem to have abandoned the area altogether. That is why it was especially gratifying to come across this quick collaboration from Rezwonk and Mena.
Rezwonk has been fairly quite over the last six months, working on other projects not entirely unrelated to his art. This piece has an industrial/construction feel to it, with rivets locking pieces of his letters in place. Modest, but really nicely done. This could be walked past quite easily as a simple throw up, but it is rather more sophisticated than that.
Menaces adopted the same colour scheme, but her fills are rather more straightforward. Both artists have followed the ‘code’ of the colour scheme, and it is one of those collaborations that are joined but not fused. Nice to see.
I have been aware of Nathan Bowen’s work from my trips to London where he seems to have quite a presence, but I have only once before seen a piece by him in Bristol, and that was some time ago. Imagine my surprise at finding three small pieces, of which this is one, in some of our streets recently.
This portrait piece is on a piece of board in Moon Street, at a site that is starting to undergo some development (boo hiss). The builder depicted in the piece is typical of Nathan Bowen’s scribble-sketch style which reminds me a little of the cartoon drawings of Gerald Scarfe. Builders at work (gentrification in motion).
Moon Street still holds an important place in my heart. Although it rarely hosts ‘top end’ pieces it represents, for me anyway, the beating heart of the Bristol graffiti scene. The area around Moon Street is steadily being gentrified, and in time these images of street/graffiti art will be distant memories. I don’t recall seeing a Taboo piece in this street before, so I was thrilled to come across this one recently.
This new piece is beautifully laid out on a blue background that gives it some prominence. In typical fashion, Taboo’s unconventional lettering style spells out TABOO with a long-nosed character on the left and a ghostly face constituting the second O. As is often the case, there is a little shout-out to his girlfriend Amy. I’m really enjoying Taboo’s work at the moment.
He doesn’t visit Bristol often (enough) but when he does he always leaves us something special and on a recent visit Kleiner Shames painted this stunning piece which is a slight departure from his more recognisable FOIS letters that we are more familiar with.
Using colours that KleinerShames favours, and that help with identification, and a couple of designer block letters, the piece spells out the artist’s initials K S. I have missed seeing his work since he left for London, but we are blessed in Bristol that he makes these occasional trips to his old home.
I am not entirely certain when this lovely Egyptian-style wheatpaste by qWeRT first appeared, and by the time I photographed it it was already looking a little weathered, but I think it was from a visit to Bristol in around November/December last year.
Our googly-eyed Friend has really gone to town in this one wearing a full Tutankhamen death mask and looking most splendid. As much as the artwork itself, I like the placing, in a disused window space so that it is framed really nicely. To be fair, it is a popular space for wheatpasters, but that is because it is exactly the right kind of spot. I think a qWeRT gallery might be in the wings.
I couldn’t hold this amazing black and white portrait piece back any longer. ‘Why hold it back at all?’ I hear you ask (in my fertile imagination), well, it is another of those pieces that I know absolutely nothing about, despite some fairly intensive Interweb interrogations.
Moon Street has be host to many different pieces of street art, but nothing like this one in my experience. I don’t know who P. Jacobs is, and I guess the date is a date of birth. Is this a tribute to somebody famous or to somebody dear? What do the formulae mean? There is so much in this work to figure out before even marvelling at the superb portrait itself. This is a piece painted by an accomplished artist, but not someone that has crossed my path before (I think). Those eyes are amazing and follow you around.
Could somebody out there put me out of my misery and telll me who this is by and what it is about?
Thank you Paul. This piece is by Kosc, who has painted this door before.
In one of his favourite spots, Face 1st recently painted this ‘traditional’ Face 1st piece of a girl’s face surrounded by big hair spelling out Face. In this one there is a rather toxic-looking gunge dripping from the letters, but the girl seems to be pretty happy about it.
Although this area is being gentrified and several blocks adjacent to Moon Street have been levelled, it still remains one of my favourite places to hunt for street art.