4977. River Avon (38)

Soap, River Avon, Bristol, December 2022
Soap, River Avon, Bristol, December 2022

This piece by Soap, was so good, I had to photograph it twice. The first time I tried, the results were terrible on account of strong sun and shade scattered over the piece. I made sure that my return visit was on an overcast day, with some better images.

Soap, River Avon, Bristol, December 2022
Soap, River Avon, Bristol, December 2022

Soap likes painting this character, which I think might be based on the cartoon character Ice King from the animated TV series Adventure Time, although I am not completely sure about that. This creation is a thing of beauty, and not only features the chrcter, but also spells out SOAP. A few gems thrown in for good measure, this is a masterclass in contemporary writing from Soap.

4962. Dean Lane skate park (599)

Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2022
Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2022

I had a great catch up with Face 1st as he was assessing where to paint this stunning little design. He had thought about using one of the flat walls on the buildings, but instead chose this curved wall instead, and what a great choice he made.

Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2022
Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2022

Any piece on the ramps of a skate park get scuffed up pretty quickly, naturally, and when I photographed this it was only a day old, and you can see immediately how worn parts of it have become. Face 1st has painted a laughing girl’s face sliced through vertically, exposing the letters F, A and E, with the C sitting proudly on the girl’s pink bow. A wonderful piece from a lovely artist.

4939. M32 roundabout J3 (445)

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2022
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2022

I simply fail to understand how I managed not to post this absolute cracker by Face 1st back in February 2022. It has been lurking in my archive, screaming to be released and shared, and now at last is liberated, and just look at how happy those girls are.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2022
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2022

I definitely noticed that nearly all Face 1st’s work last year was overflowing with joy, and this piece early on in the year certainly set the tone. To me this is brilliant, and one of my favourite Face 1st pieces ever. The colours are sensational, and the positive and mischievous energy flying off the wall is a pleasure to observe. What an absolute blast!

4876. Moon Street (100)

Zake, Moon Street, Bristol, December 2022
Zake, Moon Street, Bristol, December 2022

How has it taken me so long to post one hundred pieces from my beloved Moon Street? I guess, in recent years, painting here has reduced as the gentrification of the area has taken a grip, and so it is not so much of a graffiti destination, with artists preferring St Werburghs, Bedminster, St Paul’s or the River Avon. However, we do stopill get some beauties down there, including this very Zake, Zake character piece.

Zake, Moon Street, Bristol, December 2022
Zake, Moon Street, Bristol, December 2022

The rather disturbing face, exaggerated by its asymmetry, is arresting to say the very least. A slight reversion to his early form of portrait, his strengths come to the fore, especially his use of shading and highlights to create depth of features on the face. A worthy piece for my one hundredth Moon Street post.

4870. Dean Lane skate park (546)

Face 1st and Chill, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022
Face 1st and Chill, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022

Face 1st and Chill appear to be collaborating quite a lot at the moment, and it is a joy to behold. In this piece the collaboration takes the form of a merger of pieces, rather than simply painting adjacent spaces on a wall. 

Face 1st and Chill, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022
Face 1st and Chill, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022

The frame of the piece, set on a pink backdrop, is the letters FACE in chrome from Face 1st, something we are familiar with seeing. What is different in this instance is that the A of FACE, instead of being one of Face 1st’s laughing girls is a fine cartoon character face from Chill. You can’t help but feel a sense of joy emanating from their work, and their friendship shines through in the collaboration. More to come from these two.

4861. Dean Lane skate park (544)

Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022
Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022

In case you missed it, Face 1st is one of my favourite artists in Bristol. I try to post all his work that I come across, but it is an uphill struggle, so I do what I can. This one is on the famous curved wall at Dean Lane.

Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022
Face 1st, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022

This is a stock sure thing from Face 1st, with a laughing girl’s face surrounded with FACE hair. In gold and yellow on a sky-blue background, the piece stands out, and there are some additional drips and bubbles to keep the interest. I haven’t seen any of the PWA crew for a long while, but next time I do, I will have to ask them about the significance of the gemstone, which appears in so much of their work.

4840. Brunel Way (182)

Face 1st, Zake and Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Face 1st, Zake and Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

One of the great pleasures in life is coming across a PWA collaboration, and this little beauty painted under Brunel Way recently was a real treat. It is a well-balanced triptych, with Face 1st on the left, Zake in the middle and Soap on the right. It is an interesting observation that most of the time when Face 1st and Soap get together, they nearly always paint this way round – it must simply feel comfortable that way.

Face 1st, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Face 1st, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

Face 1st’s piece in chrome is a nice simple girl’s face with the letters FACE neatly spaced around the edge, with a deep black 3D drop shadow and neatly bounded with a thin green line. Basic stuff done really well.

Zake, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Zake, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

The middle section, or ‘filling of the sandwich’, is this unusual portrait piece by Zake. I am not too sure what is going on here, but it looks like the brain of the blue character is being expelled through his mouth, and that the brain appears to have a character all of its own. Quite bizarre, but beautifully painted with all the fine shading attributes associated with Zake’s work.

Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Soap, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

The symmetry is completed with another chrome piece, this one by Soap, to the right, reflecting the basic design of Face 1st’s on the other side. The central element is Soap’s characteristic mouth/skull ‘super tag’ with the letters SOAP encircling it. All in all, a wonderful piece from the PWA boys to brighten up our dull existence.

4786. Cumberland Basin

Hika and Pekoe, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, October 2022
Hika and Pekoe, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, October 2022

This is an unexpected collaboration between Hika and Pekoe… unexpected because I don’t really know much about Hika, although I do know all about RBF’s Pekoe. The two have combined nicely and there is much to like about the collaboration.

Hika and Pekoe, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, October 2022
Hika and Pekoe, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, October 2022

Hika’s letters might appear, on first inspection, to be a bit messy, but take a closer look and they are nice and clean with decent fills and a black 3D drop shadow. Some of the embellishments include red squiggles, and some rather nice yellow drips.

Pekoe, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, October 2022
Pekoe, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, October 2022

Regulars will know how much I admire Pekoe’s work, and this is a lovely portrait piece from her. Perhaps the most unusual thing about this one is the hairstyle. Pekoe’s portraits usually host big hair full of stars and shapes, but this one has a stylish short cut that works really well on the limited height of this space. Beautiful big eyes and a customary tear – great work from Pekoe. All in all, a really nice collaboration from this pair.

4781. Sparke Evans Park (59)

Face 1st, Sparke Evan Park, Bristol, October 2022
Face 1st, Sparke Evan Park, Bristol, October 2022

More joyful work from the Bristol godfather of happy graffiti art, Face 1st. Although I have seen a couple of sad Face 1st girls, I seem to remember a crying-girl Brexit piece, the vast majority are smiling or laughing.

Face 1st, Sparke Evan Park, Bristol, October 2022
Face 1st, Sparke Evan Park, Bristol, October 2022

The pink dungarees stand out next to the yellow hair and black background, and there is the faintest whiff of colour schemes used in the children’s picture book ‘Go Dog Go’. There is a freedom in Face 1st’s pieces that is both slightly anarchic and comforting all at once. The day Face 1st hangs up his boots is the day I do the same.

4770. Moon Street (98)

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, October 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, October 2022

On one of my favourite walls, in one of my favourite streets, by one of my favourite artists. This is a lovely piece by Face 1st, and something of a new idea, with a bit of fragmentation going on in the girl’s smiling face. As is usually the case, the hair spells out FACE.

Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, October 2022
Face 1st, Moon Street, Bristol, October 2022

This is a piece that is not only well painted, but also is full of energy and movement. It is pieces like this one that remind me how much I love photographing and following street art in Bristol, seeing and capturing talent and beauty. Time to update my Face 1st gallery, as he has been on a very productive streak lately.