It always pays to explore the city. It is easy to get trapped into only visiting the places you know or are familiar with. Hunting for street art has taught me to leave no stone unturned and to always look over your shoulder to see if you have missed something.
I caught sight of this beauty from Object… out of the corner of my eye a few weeks ago while driving by and resolved at that moment to return to take some pictures, which I did last weekend. This is a big bold and angry piece from the people’s champion Object… and features some of his recurring motifs, such as ‘eat the rich’ slogan and disfigured body parts, in this case a hand. I like and have always liked his work. There is so much passion and anguish, and it bursts out from the wall, even if it is a little uncomfortable to look at. A fabulous large piece.
The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft outdoor gallery is a great ‘showcase’ wall that is properly curated and well respected. Rarely is this wall tagged or despoiled in any way. One of the key carers of this wall is Object… so it is great when he gets to put a piece of his own work up, and in this case as part of a collaboration with Msale.
The collaboration breaks down into three panels and picks up on the coronavirus pandemic theme. On the left we see two people hugging the planet earth which is wearing a face mask, the emblem of 2020.
The middle panel is a ring and circle of text in a calligraphy style. The outer ring says “apart; together; stay safe”. The inner circle is in a script I can’t read and might be Arabic or something like that.
On the right is a masked portrait with the word ‘hope’ underneath it and to the right are the words ‘Baki salama’ which means stay safe.
Overall this is a contemporary and uplifting piece from two fine artists.
It has been a very, very long time since I last saw a piece from Object… and at this time of political turmoil I have missed his interjections and commentary defending the less well off and downcast members of our society.
Another rather grotesque imagining of a hand being eaten by hungry mouths… a piece with a lot of pain anguish and rage. The whole scene is rather unpleasant and uncomfortable, but I think that is the point, this is a challenging and political piece. The slogan ‘Eat the Rich’ accompanies th work as in so much of Object…’s art. A provocative and compelling piece.
The public conscience of Bristol is often provided by Object…, a little bit like Jimini Cricket in Pinocchio. If there is an issue about common decency and care of your fellow citizens, then Object… will be there as a champion. So there are no surprises that this artist produced this coronavirus piece during lock down.
Object… has close associations with the PRSC outdoor gallery, which he seems to curate, so this wall in Jamaica Street was a safe bet. I love this piece. It says all the things I would want to say and reminds us of a time when compliance with the rules was the norm. The recent relaxations following on from the Dominic Cummings scandal have added up to a sense of selfishness and free-for-all that I just don’t get. Sometimes I truly despair.
This piece is beautifully illustrated with excellent illustrations of NHS workers and is painted with love. Nice one.
This prophetic piece by Object… in The Bearpit was a protest and exposure of Bristol City’s determination to shut down the space and clear it of all ‘undesirable’ activity and make it a safe, clinical space. Object… quotes from Tom Flemming a creative consultant for Bristol City Council:
“…it will also be vital to champion the messy, the marginal and the avante garde, where imagination drives the city of the future.”
The Council shut The Bearpit down, expelled the homeless people (some of whom I note have returned), removed skateboarding and buffed all the walls with anti-graffiti paint. The space is now sterile (and indeed safer), but street art and graffiti were not contributing to a lack of safety, but perceptions seemed to rule the Council decision making. A council, I would add, that celebrates its association with Banksy. Some muddled thinking here.
Object…’s piece once again features a contorted and strangely proportioned figure propping up the rights of the overlooked, the messy, marginal and avante garde mentioned above. He is a true champion and I salute him.
I don’t get to see too much work from Object… these days, but I seem to have a fair amount in my archives and this wonderful piece in St Werburghs tunnel was painted back in October 2018.
Object… specialises in these political commentary pieces in which contorted figures agonise and tentacles are often involved. I have a feeling that this might have been a collaboration with another artist contributing the colourful flower on the left hand side – it looks altogether too upbeat to be Object…’s work. I like his work a lot, Nd it feels good to release this one from the archive.
It has been a long while since I last posted anything by Object…, but that might be because he has been very busy with retrieving boards from The Bearpit and running events at the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft gallery in Jamaica Street.
Object…’s work often looks pained and tortured, but especially so in this instance The disfigured fingers have a grotesqueness to them and in a strange way, I find the piece a little upsetting. Of course I don’t know the context of the piece, but it feels terribly troubled. Object… is very good at this challenging kind of artwork.
Here we have an artist doing what he does best. The passionate and politically active Object… is a champion of all that we should care about; homelessness, fair distribution of wealth and the environment.
This piece in The Bearpit is one of about twenty or so that appeared a week or two back to promote the movement ‘Extinction Rebellion‘. The movement is making three demands of the British government:
The Government must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.
The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
A national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
I have some sympathy with these demands, but worry that will not land well because of the astonishing mess of Brexit.
We have a divided nation, and broadly speaking environmental activism lands very badly with the Brexit narrative, and we have a Government dominated by the hard right whose interests are never shared with safeguarding the environment. Take for example the ex-Secretary of State for the Environment Owen Patterson who described the environmental movement (and indeed scientists and his own civil servants) as ‘the green blob’ – a derogatory term intended to belittle, mock and bully people who care about their environment, but his words chime for those who are comfortable or self-interested and wish to maintain a status quo (safe middle Britain).
I feel an essay coming on, but I have to make a chocolate panattone bread and butter pudding.
Fingers emerging out of clouds set on a blue background with pink spots. Unmistakably a piece by Object… but what is different about this is the gentleness of it and the pink spots are something I’ve not seen him use before.
I love the passion and often rage in Object…’s pieces but every once in a while it is great to see something that is perhaps more subtle. I’m not too sure what the story is here, or why one of the fingers appears to be pushing the crown down, but there is a story. Also I rather like the broken nail by way of observation. This bit of wall is a devil to photograph, but thankfully I was there on an overcast day and so the shadows were not too much of a problem. Nice piece.
Well, I’m not too sure where to start with this one from Object… really. The piece features a fairly grotesque headless, winged, multiple-armed torso with a speech bubble containing a well-used phrase ‘eat the rich‘. The phrase itself is attributed to Jean-Jaques Rousseau and alludes to the suggestion that when the people have nothing more to eat, they shall eat the rich.
As political as ever, Object… is tireless in his championing of the underclass, the unrepresented and the unfortunate. His work always comes across as very passionate, and often pained by the injustices of the world…visceral is perhaps the word I am looking for. I realise his work might shock or leave you cold, but I am actually a fan of this thoroughly decent man and artist.