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.
I think that I could quite easily fill up all my posts with work from about four or five artists in Bristol who seem to be unstoppable in their quest to brighten our streets and practice their art. One of those artists is Face 1st, who has been a constant drumbeat through the development and progress of Natural Adventures. Always there, always painting.
This piece is in my favourite street, for sentimental reasons really, in Bristol, Moon Street. Definitely a quick one from Fac 1st, as so many of his pieces are, but even though it probably only took an hour or so to paint, there is a lot to like about it. The change of pink to orange as you read left to right, and the blending of the colours, works really well. Of course, no Face 1st piece is complete without a girl’s face somewhere, and in this one, she is lurking in the letter C.
Without doubt, Moon Street is my favourite graffiti spot in Bristol. It was where I cut my teeth discovering the joys of the art form, taking little detours on my walks to work (I haven’t been to the office for nearly two years now, imagine that!). Although the frequency of new pieces in Moon Street has been low for some time, I still like to swing by now and again for old time’s sake.
Imagine my happiness when I came across this Biers piece on my most recent visit. I can’t think I have ever seen any of his work here before, so it was a double surprise. The piece adopts his WD40 moniker with a musician emerging from the ‘0’. The colours are nice and the whole thing really works for me. Great fun from Biers.
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.