3177. M32 roundabout J3 (254)

Another stunner from Smak on the M32 roundabout and this time it is in beautiful gold and green colours with a slightly unexpected surprise pink and red highlighting the outer edges of the piece.

Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2020
Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2020

I found this without knowing it had been painted (always rewarding and it usually means that it is pretty fresh because it han’t appeared on Instagram). There is a kind of browny tinge all along the middle of the letters, giving the letters a bit of a 3D shiny feel to them. Belting statement piece.

3156. Dean Lane skate park (346)

This is a real statement piece of graffiti writing from Smak down at Dean Lane and amply demonstrates why he is one of the very best writers in Bristol and probably the country. His pieces are elaborate with so many interlocking parts all seamlessly brought together with clean crisp lines.

Smak, Dean Lane, Bristol, August 2020
Smak, Dean Lane, Bristol, August 2020

The colour palette is similar to one I have seen him use before and works well on the dark background. There are to many elements in this piece to be able to describe them all, but consistent with several pieces by the artist you get more for your money, with two SMAKs visible in places, most obviously with the A.

Smak, Dean Lane, Bristol, August 2020
Smak, Dean Lane, Bristol, August 2020

On his Instagram feed, Smak mentioned that a little kid told him he could paint jellyfish, so Smak decided to add one for good measure – that is why it is there. Another monster piece from Smak.

3125. Nova Scotia (3)

So full of colour and imagination, this is an exceptional three-way collaboration from Tom Miller, Smak and Sled One, on, in my view, one of the best walls in Bristol.

Tom Miller, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020
Tom Miller, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020

On the left is an extraordinary contorted face from Tom Miller all looking a little bit nightmarish, with colours and shapes cascading from the mouth.

Tom Miller, Smak and Sled One, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020
Tom Miller, Smak and Sled One, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020

On the lower centre of the collaboration is a nice piece of equally colourful writing from Smak that complements Tom Miller’s piece.

Sled One, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020
Sled One, Nova Scotia, Bristol, July 2020

Towards the top right hand side, the collaboration is topped off by a curious (aren’t they always), character piece from Sled One. It looks a little like an astronaut whose helmet has split and is experiencing rather unpleasant things. The whole collaboration is a celebration in colour and works nicely. It would be nice to see these three work together again.

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

3025. Brunel Way bridge (39)

On now to part 4 of the Black Lives Matter wall organised by Pekoe, mobilising the RBF crew into creating one of the most memorable collaborations of the year so far. This part of the wall is by Hazard and is similar to the clenched fist that she painted on Turbo Island a week or so earlier.

Hazard and Smak, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Hazard and Smak, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020

This is such a strong image made stronger by Hazard’s mastery of colour and shading, creating an almost iridescent effect. A beautiful and emotionally charged piece. There is a rather nice little cameo appearance by Smak whose ‘no justice, no peace’ writing edges the top of the fist. So good to see this as part of this collaboration.

RBF Crew + friends, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
RBF Crew + friends, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020

 

Hazard, Turbo Island, Bristol, June 2020
Hazard, Turbo Island, Bristol, June 2020

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.

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.

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.

2867. M32 roundabout J3 (204)

Right, so we are going to return to the now for a little while, after a short Covid-19 induced excursion through the archives. This recent piece from Smak at the M32 roundabout is really clever.

Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2020
Smak, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2020

The overall effect looks like it has been partially scrubbed by some ‘do gooder’ trying to clean the wall, but it is designed to look like this, which when you consider it, is quite amazing. Clearly recognisable as Smak’s work, his style and class shine through in this original lock down piece.