4311. M32 roundabout J3 (393)

It is pretty much impossible to observe one of these classic Soap pieces and not feel a small wave of happiness wash over you. The stylised laughing mouths/skull shaped characters are a trademark mega-tag that Soap has been painting and refining for years.

Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2022
Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2022

This piece in great bronze colours was one part of an outstanding PWA paint jam, that included Face 1st and Chill, and a guest appearance from Kool Hand. The finishing on this piece is first class and demonstrates amply Soap’s skills.

4255. Cumberland Basin

A few days ago I posted the debut piece from Morag on Natural adventures, and raved about the column piece on the opposite bank of the river to this one in Cumberland Basin. I sincerely hope that these are the beginning of more to come from the artist with such a unique style.

Morag, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, February 2022
Morag, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, February 2022

This piece is broader than the other one, with the luxury of a wider piece of wall. The character has a speech bubble with the words ‘nice view’ almost certainly a reference to the river and Clifton suspension bridge that can be seen from this spot. There is something about these faces that works so well, and I think it is the mouth, which is perfectly painted and orientated, with movement and character about it. Another cracking piece from Morag.

3931. East Street

Finding pieces like this one adds to the genuine fun of hunting out street art. I was on a bit of a wander in Bedminster and I took a look up a little alleyway I hadn’t noticed before, and my reward was this new graffiti piece by Pura Decadencia. I am guessing it is new, because the artist posted it on her Instagram account a day or two later.

Pura Decadencia, East Street, Bristol, September 2021
Pura Decadencia, East Street, Bristol, September 2021

Pura Decadencia has been quite quiet lately, but that might be simply because she doesn’t paint walls all that often, which makes finding this one all the more satisfying. This is graffiti art at its very best – unexpected and sprayed directly onto an unprepared wall. The piece features a mouth with vampire teeth and long tongue, a theme that she returns to again and again. I love this raw piece.

3666. Purdown HAA Battery (27)

This is a curious piece up at Purdown by an artist that doesn’t yet seemed to gained any traction with the community of followers of street art in Bristol – Skronius. This is only the second or third piece I have seen by the artist, and I haven’t seen anything beyond this particular spot.

Skronius, Purdown, Bristol, May 2021
Skronius, Purdown, Bristol, May 2021

I have to say that I rather like what I see, although it is on the unusual side. This particular piece reminds me a little of Conrico’s work in terms of the rather free style employed. The piece features some kind of wolf-like creature with a double mouth, which is pretty hard to work out. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something I like about the piece and it certainly adds to the wonderful diversity of art we have in This magnificent city.

3502. Dean Lane skate park (391)

Aah! Pura Decadencia – pure decadence, that’s what I’m saying. It is so refreshing to have this ‘new’ artist about town, in a short time she has already made a great impact and found some walls that I haven’t even found. She is also unafraid to paint on high profile walls like this one. Great to see.

Pura Decadencia, Dean Lane, Bristol, February 2021
Pura Decadencia, Dean Lane, Bristol, February 2021

Pura Decadencia likes painting mouths and also vampire teeth feature highly in her work. This piece is figuratively and almost literally on fire and conjures up an image of a saucy kind of hell where fun is to be had. Really enjoying her work and hope that as the weather improves we’ll get to see a whole load more of her about the place.

3440. Frome side (7)

There are some pieces that will have very limited audiences, and this is one of them. Soap has painted one of his trademark smiley mouth-skull pieces on the back of a pillar under the M32 overlooking the River Frome. The only way of getting to see it is by dropping down under the motorway and walking along the reinforced bank of the River Frome. It can’t even be seen from the overlooking M32 Spot.

Soap, Frome side, Bristol, December 2020
Soap, Frome side, Bristol, December 2020

One might ask why paint something that so few people will see, but that might be missing the point a bit about the motivations behind why graffiti and street artists do what they do. It tends to be for the love of doing it. This is a particularly nice example of his mouthy face, with a lovely yellow background and sharp lines with some nice fills. The white highlights work really well to give it that 3D lift. A great column piece.

3366. M32 Cycle path (95)

This door is getting some great attention, with Daz Cat, Slakarts and now Soap all giving it a coat of paint in recent months. This is a classic piece of soap work, almost like a mega-tag and takes me back to when I first became aware of his style.

Soap, M32 cycle path, Bristol, December 2020
Soap, M32 cycle path, Bristol, December 2020

I don’t know what Soap calls this character/tag but to me it looks like a double mouthed skull, clever stuff. I imagine that Soap can probably spray throw ups like this one in his sleep, although that probably belittles the skill needed to spray anything half-decent on a wall and this is way more than half-decent.

3110. M32 roundabout J3 (246)

What the world needs more of in these difficult times is great collaborative happy street art like this magnificent recent collaboration from Soap and Face 1st. These PWA (Pirate Wall Art) friends have been painting together for a long while now and their work is so perfectly in tune. They have their own identities, but when they paint together the work is seamless.

Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

On the left is a classic piece of soapiness from Soap with the characteristic mouths spelling out SOAP. The squiggles between the A and the P are superbly done and the arrows just add that touch of graffitiness about it all. A very fine bit of painting from Soap.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

On the right Face 1st treats us to one of his charming cheery faces with big hair spelling out FACE. The matching colours with Soap and white highlights on the curves create teriffic read-across between the artists. A lovely collaboration.

2778. Lawrence Hill roundabout (12)

I am not too sure how old this one from Soap is because I haven’t been to this spot for quite a few months. It looks a bit chipped along the bottom but is otherwise in rather good condition, so I would guess it is from the back end of last year.

Soap, Lawrence Hill roundabout, Bristol, February 2020
Soap, Lawrence Hill roundabout, Bristol, February 2020

This mouthy piece is typically cheerful and bright from an artist who appears to have had something of a renaissance over the past year or so. I like the incorporation of swirly colours around the character and line drawn ones within it too. It was painted alongside Bad Taste who Soap has collaborated with before and which I wrote about on Christmas Day. It just shows that it is worth checking out these spots from time to time.

2204. M32 roundabout J3 (143)

Yet another wonderful, happy piece from Soap which I have uncovered from my January archive… it must have been a busy month to overlook this piece. Without question these are happy mouths, and in recent times have softened.

Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2019
Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2019

The colours are magnificent and I think the way that Soap has laid them down is rather clever and beautifully done. In my mind I am trying to work out the layering and sequence that the colours were laid down in. What I can say is this is an accomplished piece, and another belter from Soap.