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.
Here’s a rather nice three-way collaboration from just before Christmas by The Cat Came Back, the ever so familiar Mr Klue and DNT who has rather ‘owned’ this wall over the last few years.
I know absolutely nothing about The Cat Came Back, but there are two things I really like. The first is the name of the artist, it’s just kind of bonkers and memorable too, the second is the simple but well constructed piece from an artist who is obviously well practiced in producing this cat character. I don’t know if the artist is Bristol-based but if they are, then I look forward to seeing more alley cats.
The central portion of the collaboration is by Mr Klue, who seems to be on a bit of a painting spree at the moment. I have commented before on the pulses of activity from Mr Klue. You can go a month or two and see nothing new and then out of the blue several pieces appear in quick succession. I can’t read the letters in this abstract piece, but I don’t think it says KLUE. (Update, The artist tells me it does).
On the right is another feline-type creature compete with a third eye, and a design style that is so very DNT. His character pieces tend to be mad up of shapes with solid fills and outlined with black, almost like a stained glass effect. Great to see another DNT piece here. (Note to self – a good wall for ‘One wall many faces’).
I like treasure hunting, especially when each time you find a treasure, like this one by Mutatee, it comes as a wonderful and fulfilling surprise. I think that hunting for and photographing street art is a wholesome substitute for trying to generate likes on Twitter or Facebook or getting that micro-buzz of endorphine every time you receive a message on your mobile phone.
Personally, few things irritate me more than people’s phones buzzing, ringing, twittering, ding-a-linging upon which they’ll abruptly end a conversation, leave the room (metaphorically), check the offensive communicator (Star Trek reference) and only then return to the conversation saying ‘where were we?’ (we?… I’ve been here all the time you idiot). You know the kind of thing. Grrrr. Ranty bit over, I’m not too sure where it came from but it felt great to get it off my chest.
Back to Mutatee – she is the bringer of my little endorphine snacks and this little charmer high up on a wall in Moon Street is one of a bunch dotted about the City – I recently spotted another one that I’ll have to photograph next time I pass by on foot – so many more to come from this creative and imaginative installation artist.
This is one of a great many rabbits by Nevergiveup that I have in my archive of Bristol street art, and I will be releasing them slowly as and when slots appear or the inclination takes me. This particular one in Moon Street goes back to May 2018.
As I recall this furry fellow stayed put for quite a while, but like so many of his colleagues eventually disappeared. I noticed that Bristol City Council have been on an anti-rabbit patrol lately and buffed out a whole bunch of them from utility boxes in the Cumberland Basin area (boo). Now that Nevergiveup has left town I expect the cull to gather pace.
As someone who loves the work of Face 1st, I can honestly say that I don’t think that this is one of his best pieces. Admittedly it has been a bit tagged over the face which detracts from it a bit, but overall it doesn’t have the heart of some of his recent pieces.
What it does have though is hair, and the hair in this one is in a slightly different style from his usual work and much more obviously spells out FACE. Everyone has good and not so good days, and I know Face 1st can do better, but I am always charmed by his work, and even his ‘could do better’ stuff is great in my book.