3431. Upper York Street (23)

I wrote about the passing of MF DOOM in a post a few days ago referencing a piece by Mr Klue in St Werburghs Tunnel, and this is another tribute piece to the rapper, this time from Smak and Sled One.

Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, January 2021
Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, January 2021

It is clear that MF DOOM was very much loved by the graffiti art community, and I have seen dozens of tribute pieces on Instagram over the past few weeks. This collaboration though is really out of the top drawer. On the left is an outstanding portrait of the masked artist from Smak, and an example of his sophisticated skills can be seen in the colours and how they are used on the mask – an extraordinary metallic effect reminiscent of Fanakapan.

Sled One, Upper York Street, Bristol, January 2021
Sled One, Upper York Street, Bristol, January 2021

On the right-hand side of the collaboration is Sled One’s contribution, and here his wacky and creative imagination goes into overdrive, with an MF DOOM/Thomas the Tank Engine fusion piece… crazy. Only Sled One could come up with a concept like this and execute it with such aplomb. Brilliant!

Smak and Sled One, Upper York Street, Bristol, January 2021
Smak and Sled One, Upper York Street, Bristol, January 2021

All in all this is a truly outstanding collaborative tribute and the best I have seen so far.

3402. Dean Lane skate park (374)

When you immerse yourself in the world of street art and graffiti writing in the way that I and many others do, you develop a deep sense of how good the art is in terms of technical skills, emotional grab, story telling, colour sense and so on. And sometimes you need only glance at a piece for a second to realise that it is truly outstanding and on a different level. This is how I felt when I saw this from Smak in Dean Lane a week or so back.

Smak, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020
Smak, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020

It feels like seeing something in CinemaScope for the first time when you are used to a smaller format. The letters spelling SMAK are perfectly arranged and the colours and fills, with a metallic feel, are outstanding. For me, this is a great example of perfect graffiti writing, and such a wonderful Christmas gift from Smak.

3384. Cumberland Basin

It would seem that Smak rarely stops producing first-class pieces for us to marvel at, and he does this in between commissions. This is an artist at the top of his game who manages to do what he loves every day both in a work context and for his own leisure. Perfect.

Smak, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020
Smak, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020

These pictures were taken during incredibly heavy rain and while I was in an incredibly hurry, but the blurry look of the piece is not an artefact of the conditions, rather it is the piece itself and the way it has been sprayed.

A short post today because I have to start preparing for our Christmas meal. Season’s greetings to you all.

3378. M32 Cycle path (96)

I took this photograph as the light was fading at the end of an impromptu paint jam along the M32 cycle path. This would explain the slightly dour appearance of the piece, which is actually a bright and cheerful work from Smak.

Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, November 2020
Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, November 2020

The graffiti writing reaches the usual high standards associated with Smak, with superb fills and sharp lines that he delivers with such consistency. He has included a little character with this piece, a cat (looking a bit like a tiger) drinking milk from a bottle with a straw (a paper one I hope).

3285. M32 Spot (89)

A couple of weeks ago I bumped into Paul H in St Werburghs tunnel and he tipped me off that Smak was likely to be painting at the M32 Spot, so naturally my next port of call was to my favourite board under the motorway. There I found not only Smak, but Mena too, both busily spraying.

Smak and Mena, M32 Spot, Bristol, October 2020
Smak and Mena, M32 Spot, Bristol, October 2020

I have many photographs of Mena’s work, but I think this is the first time I have posted anything, so I guess a bit of a rummage through my archive will be happening in the not too distant future.

Smak, M32 Spot, Bristol, October 2020
Smak, M32 Spot, Bristol, October 2020

On the left of the board is a beautifully worked piece of graffiti writing from Smak. What is noticeable about this is that the light conditions on the two days I visited this piece have presented two different tones, one much yellower than the other – I guess that cameras get pretty goofed up with poor light under the motorway and bright light bleedinng in at the sides. Auto settings simply can’t cope.

Mena, M32 Spot, Bristol, October 2020
Mena, M32 Spot, Bristol, October 2020

On the right is a ‘stock’ piece of writing from Mena. The letters are uniform in size with interesting shapes and Mena really goes to town with some beautiful horizontal fills in wonderful complementary colours. The outcome is very pleasing, and the black 3D shading really helps to lift the whole thing out from the wall. I am really looking forward to sharing more from Mena.

3281. Clift House Road (4)

A recent epic collaborative piece on an ‘Upfest’ wall appeared without warning or fanfare a couple of weeks ago that brought together some fine atists, namely: Smak, Sled One, Ments and Curtis Hylton. What an utterly pleasant surprise and something of an improvement on the piece that adorned this wall before it.

Smak, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020
Smak, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020

On the left is a crazy but exquisite scene depicting venus flytraps feasting on various flying insects. In the middle is what looks a bit like an old microphone, although I’m not too sure if that is what it is. The story here… your guess is as good as mine.

Curtis Hylton, Ments and Sled One, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020
Curtis Hylton, Ments and Sled One, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020

Sled One has pulled together an equally bizarre piece that sems to be of a king cobra dressed as a policeman complete with truncheon and whistlewith an iced ring doughnut round its neck. The policeman woud appear to be in pursuit of a graffiti spraying mouse or two. Could this be a reference to some heavy handed policing which let to the prosecution of a street artist in St Werburghs tunnel recently?

Curtis Hylton, Ments and Sled One, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020
Curtis Hylton, Ments and Sled One, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020

To the right is a beautiful Hornbill by Curtis Hylton whose work usually involves a blend of stunning creatures composed of flowers, and he has worked miracles with this style here. Curtis Hylton has also embraced the colour scheme used by Sled One so that the two pieces merge into a true collaboration.

Ments, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020
Ments, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020

Dotted around the whole piece are a dozen or so ‘liquid’ spheres painted by Ments. It has been clear from recent pieces by Ments that he is working hard to create these solid/liquid forms and judging from his contribution to this collaboration this direction he is moving in is going really well. The whole collaboration is a celebration of bright creative ideas and utterly worth seeking out, although parking nearby is a bit of a challenge.

Smak, Curtis Hylton, Ments and Sled One, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020
Smak, Curtis Hylton, Ments and Sled One, Clift House Road, Bristol, October 2020

 

3274. M32 Cycle path (82)

Happy Haloween folks – although I’m never quite sure whether Haloween is supposed to be happy or scary – I’m still a bit old fashioned and struggle a bit with the commercialisation of this pagan festival, but then again isn’t it the same with Christmas? I digress…

I have done something a little unusual today, I am posting a piece that I only photographed this morning. This is a rare occurrence mainly because of the processes I have to go through to prepare my blog posts and the time I have available to do it. I tend to line up photographs in batches and upload them onto wordpress which means I can write the blogs from my iPad if necessary. But today I have seen something amazing and I have a moment of time to bump my queue with this outstanding Haloween piece by Smak painted only yesterday.

Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, October 2020
Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, October 2020

This was one of those wonderful discoveries. I had been to the recycling centre (tip) and on my home stopped off at St Werburghs tunnel and then on to the M32 Spot and cycle path just on the off chance that there might be something new… and there was lots, but right up there with the very best discoveries was this magnificent horror ventriloquist’s dummy by Smak.

Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, October 2020
Smak, M32 cycle path, Bristol, October 2020

I have had a little Google play and I think that the puppet might be Billy from the film Dead Silence, but not being fond of the horror film genre (I get scared tooo easily) I can’t be too certain. The portrait is masterfully painted and care and attention have been given not only to the subject but also to the background.

Finding this made my day.

Scary Haloween…

3245. St Werburghs tunnel (198)

It would seem that this piece from Smak was painted at the same time as Inkie and Tizer painted it recently and that there was something of a paint jam going on. I think that Hemper and one or two others might also have been involved. I have to admit that paint jams in the tunnel are not my favourite because the poor lighting never does justice to the artwork.

Smak, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2020
Smak, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2020

As always the work of Smak is of a consistently high quality and there is a lot here to admire in both shape and colour. Each letter is painted with care and attention and there is a phenomenal amount of detail and design behind each one. Another great piece of graffiti writing.

3228. M32 Spot (83)

There is little new that I can say about Smak. I have used pretty much run out of superlatives to describe his work. So I will go easy, and you can take it as read that this is yet another stunner from this Bristol-based graffiti writer.

Smak, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020
Smak, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020

The colour combinations were similar to those chosen by Soker, Inkie and Sled One all of whom painted alongside Smak on this wall a little while back. When I see top quality writing like this, I wonder where the artist can go next, but they have such talent that they can keep on painting outstandinng pieces. I particularly like the hole and drip on the bottom edge of the right hand leg of the ‘M’. Top work.

3189. Alfred Street (5)

The paint jam at Dare To a couple of weeks ago really did throw up some fantastic work from an ‘A’ list of Bristol artists and it would seem that each artist bounced off the next to up their game a little.

Smak, Alfred Street, Bristol, September 2020
Smak, Alfred Street, Bristol, September 2020

This is a cheeky number (getting into the spirit of the adult nature of the Dare To club) by Smak. Tucked away, and slightly awkward to photograph, this bright and colourful piece includes a little devil complete with cherries on his pants. The writing is typically top quality and has that double letter style where each letter seems to have been painted twice over. More excellent work from Smak.