3103. M32 roundabout J3 (244)

It is always great to catch up with Rusk, a real gentleman if ever there was one. On this occasion he was joining in with the M32 paint jam that included Tizer, Inkie, Soker, Hemper and Minto last month. The sun was against me for the final photographs, but the work in progress shot shows off the colours a little better.

Rusk, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Rusk, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Attention and care are what I associate Rusk’s work with. He is always diligent and tidy with his pieces and takes his time to get things right. I can’t imagine my stopping for a chat was particularly helpful, but he didn’t seem to mind.

Rusk, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Rusk, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

The letters are typically Rusk, spelling out RUSKY and are given a horizontal tricolour fill, with some nice spots in the middle section. If I am honest I am not sure the three colours work too well, especially the bottom two as there is not enough contrast between them, but that is nit picking really, this is a fine piece of graffiti writing.

3094. St Werburghs tunnel (176)

I got lucky taking the dog for a walk a few days ago because I just caught Ryder as he was putting the final touches on this wonderful piece of graffiti writing. In the car opposite was T-Rex and their new baby… they start them young in the graffiti way in Bristol. He stopped for a chat and it was really nice to catch up – I always feel rather surprised and touched when these guys remember who I am, but I remind myself that they are all really decent folk.

Ryder, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2020
Ryder, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2020

The piece itself is a big bold chrome on pink piece of writing and is shit hot in my view. Proper writing from a proper writer painted with confidence and class. It was this piece that prompted me to publish a gallery of his work last week. Keep ‘em coming.

3048. M32 roundabout J3 (228)

Superb. But we expect that from Smak. Writing like this is something that we are privileged to see in Bristol on a pretty regular basis. There is a cohort of about 10 or so graffiti artists who are at the top of their game and Smak is at the front of the pack.

Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020
Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020

This particular piece from a couple of weeks ago is a real stunner and is one of his more colour-rich pieces. The App reminds me a little of a piece he did on the M32 cycle path about a year ago.

Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2019
Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2019

3017. Frome side (2)

A recent paint jam in a spot I have struggled to get to until recently included this magnificent beast from Smak. The piece, in gentle pastel shades, is yet another example in an extensive portfolio of the outstanding talent of the artist.

Smak, Frome side, Bristol, June 2020
Smak, Frome side, Bristol, June 2020

What is really clever about Smak’s writing is that his letters are nearly always legible and yet the sophistication and complexity of his designs and fills is mind-blowing. To achieve such a balance is surely the work of a master at the top of his game.

3014. Frome side (1)

At last, with the help of Paul H, I have been able to access a spot where great treasures are painted. I guess that it is fitting that the first piece (of many, many I hope) from this spot is by Ryder, who has been tireless in keeping our walls fresh for as long as I have been writing about street/graffiti art, and indeed quite a while longer than that.

Ryder, Frome side, Bristol, June 2020
Ryder, Frome side, Bristol, June 2020

This is a very nice piece indeed from the RAW man with his customary tidy writing and faces lurking within the letters being reflected in a ‘watery’ medium beneath a thin layer of mist. Great colours and great execution and an all round winning piece.

3010. L Dub (18)

L Dub (Lawrence Weston) is a funny old spot. Only a few of the Bristol artists venture out to paint there and some of the artists that paint there such as Dun Sum rarely paint in central Bristol. It is secluded and out of the way and so is favoured by artists practising in the gloom of the tunnels.

Ryder, L Dub, Bristol, June 2020
Ryder, L Dub, Bristol, June 2020

This is a wonderful piece of writing from RAW’s Ryder and really demonstrates why he is such a hightly regarded writer on the Bristol scene. The letters are beautifully proportioned  and consistent and the pink and red fill almost magical, but it is the yellow 3D shading that really makes the piece stand out. Very nice work indeed.

2915. Hereford Street (1)

What an absolutely gorgeous sunny morning it is in Bristol today, deep blue skies and optimism in the air. This is an old photograph (consistent with all my recent lock down posts) of an even older piece by Smak. It is on a curious hoarding on the southern edge of Bedminster that leads to a tunnel under the railway.

Smak, Hereford Street, Bristol, April 2019
Smak, Hereford Street, Bristol, April 2019

It is all too easy to run out of superlatives when describing Smak’s work, and it is a rare thing indeed to find anything to be critical of. This is a thing of beauty, and I rather like the juxtaposition of urban graffiti writing set against greenery on the other side of the hoarding, like a scene from the Terry Gilliam film Brazil. Did I ever mention that my dad was the stage manager for Monty Python during their Drury Lane shows?

2899. M32 cycle path (57)

Aah, it is so easy to forget how bright and shiny (or shite and briney as an old colleague of mine used to say) this collaboration was when it was painted. Its quality has stood the test of time and it remained untouched for a very long spell – I think it has finally been painted over.

Dot Rotten, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018
Dot Rotten, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018

The collaboration on the M32 cycle path from 2018 was painted by Dot Rotten (SPOILT), Sled One and Smak. Dot Rotten is an artist Idon’t think I have posted before, but while I have been going through my archive recently I have spotted quite a few of his pieces, so expect more in the coming days/weeks.

Sled One, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018
Sled One, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018

Sled One has done here what Sled One does everywhere and that is turned out a high-quality character piece with great panache and style. The skull s beautifully drafted and has an animated humour about it. A nice touch to have an ASK speech bubble coming out of the cigarette.

Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018
Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2018

On the right hand side of the collaboration is a clean, crisp and straight forward Smak piece which stands out from the wall thanks to the yellow outline and bright highlight spots. The whole collaboration has been painted on a shared background and colour selections and was a welcoming sight on this stretch of cycle path.

2877. Upfest 2016 (172)

Somehow, since the lock down I have a lot less free time than I had before, which feels rather counter-intuitive. I am still working full time, only at home and mostly on Covid-19 communications. The kids are at home all the time and there is no respite from looking after them 24/7. The dog still needs walks. My wife too is working full time at home and occupies the study to work, which is where our main computer resides, and all my associated street art files etc.

The upshot is that I am writing these posts in the few minutes I can when my wife takes a shower in the morning. I am on leave next week, and might be able to write a whole bunch of posts to get a little bit ahead. I don’t like flying by the seat of my pants.

Rusk, Upfest 2016, Bristol, July 2016
Rusk, Upfest 2016, Bristol, July 2016

This is a stunning piece from the perfectionist Rusk on the RAW wall at Upfest 2016. I consider this to be an outstanding piece of writing and somehow Rusk, using highlights, has managed to create a metallic effect, so the whole thing looks like the side of a car or something like that. I can’t understand why I’ve not posted this before. Worth the wait.

2873. Upper York Street (21)

I have been to this hoarding three times and each time the light has been overpowering (whatever happened to those overcast days?). The sun reflects off the windows of buildings behind the camera which reflect dappled sunlight all over this wall, ruining any chance of a decent shot. To take these pictures I waited 20 minutes for the slowest-moving solitary cloud to pass over the sun (I guess I was lucky), and then had to act fast.

Hazard and Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020
Hazard and Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020

The beautiful collaboration is from Hazard and Smak and I think was one of the very last pre-lock down pieces in town. The hoarding surrounds a whole block that has been demolished, bar one single house, which you can see  in this photograph. It is like a scene from the Disney Pixar movie Up.

Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020
Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020

On the left is a stunning leopard by Hazard (Harriet Wood) which speaks for itself really. The whiskers are particularly good, and I like the way the whole thing bleeds into the Smak writing next to it.

Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020
Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020

Smak consistently produces graffiti writing of the highest order and this is another one to enjoy. Book-ended by leopard spots the mixture of angular and rounded letters is beautifully presented and filled thoughtfully with blues and yellows. Altogether a lovely collaboration.