I chose a glorious day for my first visit to Purdown HAA Battery where I managed to combine a sensational dog walk with Mrs Scooj and a quick tour of the street/graffiti art on the battery walls. Purdown HAA Battery itself was a Heavy Anti-Aircraft position that overlooks Bristol and that protected the city from bombing raids during WW2. You can find out a some more here. The dog is doing a bit of ‘bombing’ himself.
I knew that there was some art to be found here, but have simply never taken the time to go and take a look. What a silly boy I am. There is quite a lot to look at up there, some old stuff and some more recent like this magnificent face by Slakarts (it’s him again!). This is a lovely clean piece with a great selection of colours and plenty of wrinkles in the face to animate it. Worth the excursion.
So here he is again, this time turning up in ‘crack alley’ or Hepburn Road as it is formally known. I am of course talking about Slakarts, an artist that I can’t seem to keep off the pages of Natural Adventures at the moment, and there are more in the pipeline.
This piece is a little different from most of the work we see by this artist, because the face is in semi-profile, where normally his subjects are seen from the front. The piece is nice and clean with strong outlines and solid fills, and there is a little bit of movement going on with the double lines near the nose and cheek. I don’t remember ever seeing a piece by Slakarts down here before and it is good to see him moving about the place.
Context is very important to our comprehension of the world around us. I passed this piece last week on a walk I rarely take and I knew I recognised the artist, but my brain just couldn’t compute who it was, because I’m not used to seeing his work outside of the places I would normally come across it. It wasn’t until the return leg of the walk that the penny dropped.
This is of course a fabulous chrome piece by Slakarts that judging from its condition is fairly recent. Although I have been taking pictures of art by Slakarts for a long time, it is only recently that I have started posting them, due to finding out who he was only a few months ago. Ever since, he seems to have been churning out these faces with alarming regularity, which is all rather good really.
Those glasses are spectacleular (see what I did there?) and I imagine look striking from the opposite bank of the river.
There has been a recent rush of Slakarts pieces and this one on the M32 cycle path is nicely sandwiched between Rezwok and Nightways from a session earlier on in December.
Unmistakably by Slakarts, the artist has included a third eye, possibly as an afterthought, which is not painted in the same way as the ‘normal’ eyes with the blue and yellow colours and drips. This is a nicely executed piece and a welcome addition to a wall which is dominated by graffiti writing. Let’s hope 2020 brings us a visual feast as strong as 2019.
One of the first walls I found when I started doing all of this was this one in Albert Park Place. Little did I know then that it has one of the lowest turn-over rates of any wall In Bristol, and in five years, I think there have only been four pieces here so I expect this collaboration from Rezwonk and Slakarts is a bit of a keeper.
The central graffiti writing is obviously from Rezwonk, spelling out ‘REZER’ and the decorations on either side are from Slakarts. Rezwonk’s class shine through and the letters, fills and 3D shadings are really on point.
The contribution from Slakarts brings colour and interest to the piece and are re of Isabel from the design of the stylised faces. Even though Rezwonk painted the lion’s share of this collaboration, it would not be complete without Slakarts. Nice work from these two.
Having only recently started posting pieces by Slakarts on Natural Adventures, it seems that more of his work is emerging, both on the streets recently and from my rummages in my archives.
This is a magnificent piece in St Werburghs tunnel, full of character and humour, and something of a departure from his usual stylised faces that can be a bit on the sombre side. This is a simply executed cartoon style piece that really stands out. It is a pity that it is so yellow/gold, because those colours seem to get exggerated by the orange lighting in the tunnel. More fun pieces please!
On one of the ramps of the M32 DIY skatepark is this rather sombre looking face, unmistakably the work of Slakarts. This picture was taken way back in January, before I knew who the artist was, and it has been languishing in my archive ever since. This is liberation day. It is also election day and the results will map out our national journey for the next five years… I fear the worst.
Slakarts paints using broad black outlines with solid fills to create his trademark faces which are often coloured with muted tones. The works are modest, both in creation and design and there is often a sadness or strangeness in the faces – this piece in particular feels peculiar without an iris or pupil in the eye. More to come from Slakarts.