3511. M32 Cycle path (111)

These boys have been really enjoying themselves this Winter. Barely a week passes without a new collaboration – I genuinely don’t know how they afford the paint, but this passion conquers all obstacles. Face 1st and Soap have been painting together for longer than I have been writing this blog, which is about six years, and have developed an almost telepathic partnership that comes across in their collaborations.

Face, M32 cycle path Bristol, February 2021
Face, M32 cycle path Bristol, February 2021

They have selected a pink and yellow combination for this wall – not a pairing that I would naturally choose, but with the modest use of the yellow for highlights it works really well. Of course from Face 1st we have a smiling girl with big hair spelling FACE and liberally sprinkled with little hearts. Wass this a Valentine’s Day piece?

Soap, M32 cycle path Bristol, February 2021
Soap, M32 cycle path Bristol, February 2021

Soap, sticking to the colour brief has spelled out his name, but for the first time in a long time hasn’t incorporated his toothy motif other than by way of his tag at the bottom of the letter ‘O’. This is a lovely collaboration from a couple of artists really enjoying themselves. Keeping us all sane in these insane times.

3467. M32 Cycle path (106)

It is those PWA boys again working their magic, this time along the M32 cycle path. Always happy and always brightening up our lives, and let me tell you our lives need brightening up these days.

Soap, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, January 2021
Soap, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, January 2021

Soap and Face 1st tend collaborate by painting their separate pieces joined by a colour palette and some decorative features. This time thy have gone for pinks and purples and Soap, spells out SOAP with some lovely fills and a rather fetching bone across the A.

Face 1st, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, January 2021
Face 1st, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, January 2021

Face 1st brings us a laughing girl with FACE for hair, and carries across the same colours and some similar fills. This is yet another great collaboration from this pair.

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.

3436. M32 Spot (101)

The most common phrase I have used when writing about the work of Face 1st is “I will never tire of the work of Face 1st” and that phrase is as true now as it ever has been. Big or small, throw up or intricate piece, it just doesn’t matter, his art chimes for me, and he and those like him, are the engine room of Bristol graffiti art.

Face 1st, M32 Spot, Bristol, January 2021
Face 1st, M32 Spot, Bristol, January 2021

The new(ish) ramps at the M32 Spot are proving to be quite a fertile ‘canvass’ for our artists and Face 1st has painted this back board with one of his characteristic winking girls with hair made up of FACE. I love everything about this. There is an element of Marine Boy anime in those eyes.

in writing that last sentence I got distracted by Marine Boy. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a trip down memory Lane with typing Marine Boy into YouTube. Enjoy.

3408. Wilder Street (41)

I shouldn’t think that I will be writing too many more posts from this end of Wilder Street in the future because behind this hoarding is a major new development (probably student accommodation) that is moving apace as the whole district becomes gentrified. In the meantime we can expect artists like Face 1st to continue decorating the hoardings until they come down.

Face 1st, Wilder Street, Bristol, December 2020
Face 1st, Wilder Street, Bristol, December 2020

This piece is going back to Face 1st basics, with a smiling girl with very big hair in blue and red spelling out FACE. From the look of it I would say that Face 1st probably sprayed this pretty quickly as all the elements are there, but the finessing isn’t quite what it could be. A lovely characterful piece nonetheless.

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.

3320. Brunel Way bridge (72)

Sometimes it is really easy to just like a piece instantly, and with this fine piece of writing from Soap, that is exactly how I felt when I first saw it. Painted as part of the Face 1st birthday/Halloween paint jam extravaganza, this colourful graffiti writing stands out.

Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020

Obviously spelling out SOAP, the grim themes; a scythe slicing into a skull and  a sword at the ready, have a light cartoony touch that brings a smile to the face. The colour selections are first-class and those pinks, purples and blues work so very well together – just ask SPZero76. A fine, fun piece of writing from PWA’s Soap.

3297. Brunel Way Bridge (69)

I am reliably informed (Thank you, Paul) it was Face 1st’s birthday last week and this piece was part of a birthday/Halloween paint jam with friends to celebrate. The whole wall was a creative smorgasbord of delights and this horror Face 1st face was right up there.

Face 1st, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Face 1st, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020

The face character appears to be holding bits of a skeleton in one hand and a rather nasty looking ball and chain in the other and her head is split open with what looks like molten lava instead of a brain. It is certainly a vibrant piece, full of movement and action and I would say appropriate for Halloween. Happy Birthday.

3270. M32 Cycle path (81)

Ah deep joy. Where would we be without these Pirate Wall Art (PWA) compatriots decorating our streets? What I like about collaborations betweeen Soap and Face 1st (apart from the obvious) is that they simply appear, unannounced and often unInstagrammed (if that is a word), so finding them is usually a pleasant surprise.

Face 1st and Soap, M32 cycle path, Bristol, September 2020
Face 1st and Soap, M32 cycle path, Bristol, September 2020

The piece is quite small when compared to some of their collaborations but is typically full of optimism, life and fun. On the left, is a trademark megatag mouth from Soap ond on the right two faces from Face 1st, each sporting lettered hair FA and CE respectively. Let’s hear it for these pirate heroes…

3269. St Werburghs Tunnel (201)

Not a month goes by without a cheerful (and sometimes not so cheerful) piece from Face 1st. Today, I am going to treat you to two pieces by this prolific artist of which this is the first. Deep in St Werberghs tunnel, where there is limited natural daylight is this classic Face 1st Face.

Face 1st, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2020
Face 1st, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2020

The laughing girl whose hair is made up of the letters FACE, is a fine chrome piece that works quite well in the twighlight of the tunnel. It looks to me like Daz Cat has added in a little speech bubble with DAZ C in it. I think that is a bit of tagging fun which is allowed betwen artists. A standard Face 1st piece for all to enjoy.