A gallery of outstanding work from Bristol street artist and writer Mudra
Website: Mudra creates
all photographs by Scooj
I remember the first time I met Mudra, in October 2020, it was a socially distanced conversation under Brunel Way. He had only recently arrived in Bristol and was starting to leave his mark. Fast-forward eighteen months and Mudra has become part of the furniture here, and massively developed and improved his artwork.
This recent piece is one of several, by different artists, in Elton Street and part of a rather fine public gallery. In this piece, he spells out his name in a collage style, with each letter created in a different font, and it even looks like the ‘@’ (Mudra’s trademark signature) may have been stencilled. This is a nicely done, artistic piece that sits comfortably in this outdoor gallery.
This was something of a red-letter day for me, turning up at Dean Lane to find Mudra painting alongside Kosc and Flava136 (who has now changed his moniker to Saor). Unfortunately, Flava136’s piece had been painted over by the time I returned to get pictures of the completed works, but Mudra and Kosc’s were intact.
Mudra is an artist who, although he has only been painting in Bristol for a couple of years, has firmly established himself in the city and is definitely going from strength to strength. With each of his pieces, his confidence and dynamism grows, and I am thoroughly enjoying the ride.
This is a curious piece that, for once, doesn’t spell out Mudra, but instead incorporates the letters NTS, a crew name (I don’t yet know what it stands for). There is a typically stylised Mudra face with a giveaway coloured nose and for some utterly unknown reason a bird perching at a bird box. Great to see and great fun.
Wowzer, a throwback word I rarely use, this is an absolute stunner from a pair of artists I wouldn’t have imagined working together, but as it happens the resulting collaboration is fabulous. The piece by Mudra and Kosc is a wonderful fusion of styles that is symmetrical and pleasing to the eye.
Set on a black background, which immediately gets things going in the right direction, the colourful writing and monochrome character complement each other very well. The letters spelling out MUDRA are by Mudra include a little character bird, adding a special touch to the letters.
The central character is another banger from Kosc, whose work is simply getting better and better. It is quite a disturbing portrait of a young woman with a section of her face, her left side, exposing her skull and teeth beneath. Exquisite work from Kosc, and a really nice and unusual collaboration from this pair. I sincerely hope it is the start of something rather than a one-off.
Hiding behind a row of bushes along the wall of Bristol South swimming pool is this fine new piece of graffiti writing from Mudra. Even through the winter hedge, his distinctive style of writing is identifiable and drew me over to take a closer look. Much of his writing layout is (in the words of a Monty Python sketch) thin at one end, much, much, thicker in the middle and then thin at the far end (Miss A, Elk theory on the brontosaurus).
The colours in the piece incorporate his favoured reds and mauves, tinged with some orange. The letters, spelling MUDRA, are nicely designed and cleanly painted as you’d expect, but no mean feat on this lumpy old wall. I was rather pleased to spot this one.
You can never rule out anything in the world of street/graffiti art, and to do so would be to suck the surprise and joy out of it all. I would never have predicted a Flava136/Mudra collaboration, and yet down in the Deaner we have a near-perfect mash-up from these two superb artists.
This is a great example of a blended collaboration where it is difficult to be certain who painted what. There are of course the obvious bits that have all the hallmarks of the individual artists, but the bits in-between… A trained eye can tell them apart, but to most people you’d look at this piece and consider it to be by one artist.
Basically the central monster and smiley face are by Flava136, and the left and right hand elements (which spell out MUDRA (some creative imagination required)) are by Mudra. The whole thing is an absolute gem and I hopt that they will get together again sometime in the future.
Different artists have different creative patterns or routines. Some paint the same thing over and over again, tweaking and perfecting it (for example Slim Pickings – TES), others create something extraordinary and different every time (Sled One, Tom Miller, 3Dom). Some only write, some only create characters and some combine the two. Mudra too has a modus operandi, which is either to create a character portrait or to write MUDRA cryptically incorporating characters and symbols. This piece falls into the latter category.
This lovely piece from a little while back on the long wall at Cumberland Basin spells out the artist’s name, where the ‘d’ in a little breakout star at the bottom is replaced with a wonderful stylised portrait of a pink-faced, purple-nosed lady with shocking yellow hair. A wonderful and creative piece beautifully worked nice clean lines and fills.
I mentioned in a recent post that Mudra has taken to painting columns, which is all well and good in terms of diversity and experimentation, but is a real pain for anyone, like me, wanting to capture the pieces (I was going to say on film) digitally.
This one under Brunel Way is a classic Mudra character, full of colour, with a red nose, glasses and a yellow moustache, and signed with his @ signature on the character’s forehead. Mudra has a style that is all his own and has made a strong impact since first hitting Bristol’s streets, just over a year ago – sometimes it feels like he has been forever, but he is still a relative noob in the city.
I simply don’t get round to posting as much of the work I see as I would like to, and this is one of several recent Mudra pieces I have photographed and actually managed to write up. This one is notable for its location, because I haven’t seen many Mudra paintings on the north side of Bristol, apart from under the M32, alongside the river Frome.
Mudra has a style and tone that is quite easily identified, but it is his @ signature that confirms the artist. Mudra likes to use these soft blues reds and pinks in his work and he uses a lot of soft curves too. This piece is some kind of alien or monster, not unlike something that Nugmoose might create. A nice column piece.
I have had these pictures lurking in my archive for a little while, and at last find a moment to bring them to you. The column piece (they can be a real pain in the backside to photograph) is by Mudra, and is characteristically rather fun.
Mudra has painted all the way around the column and on one half is a portrait of a white-haired gentleman compete with moustache (of course) and a little speech bubble with Mudra’s @ signature.
On the other half of the column is a hand holding what looks like a match or a candle, but it might be something altogether different. Mudra has a very strong, chunky style which hits you hard and is difficult to ignore. Head-turning stuff.