3940. Upfest 2021 75×75 (61)

There is an interesting crossover with this piece from Soker in so much as it is an Upfest 75×75 piece from a Bristol graffiti writer who produces this kind of thing regularly all around the city to this high standard, without being ‘special’ event pieces. I’m not sure if I articulated that very well, but perhaps what I mean is that we are spoilt in Bristol with having so many outstanding writers like Soker.

Soker, Raleigh Road, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21
Soker, Raleigh Road, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21

This is a lovely clean and colourful design from Soker, spelling SOKEM. There are two or three colour/fill themes going on through the letters and a central vanishing point for the 3D shading. This is what great graffiti writing looks like.

3866. M32 roundabout J3 (339)

The giant has awoken. For much of the lockdown period Soker had kept a low profile, with only two or three pieces painted over a very long period. Thankfully that lean time has come to an abrupt end and in the last couple of months Soker has graced us with his presence once again with some superb graffiti writing.

Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2021
Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2021

This is a lovely piece spelling out SOKEM, a variant of  his usual SOKER. So much colour and energy is contained in this piece and it has been painted, as we expect, with consummate expertise. More to come from Soker… when I have a moment.

3754. Waterloo Place (5)

This is a very special wall, indeed all the walls around the Sofa Project are special. A special wall deserves special treatment and this fabulous recent collaboration from Paul Monsters, Andy Council and Soker, is, I would say, very special.

Andy Council, Soker and Paul Monsters, Waterloo Place, Bristol, June 2021
Andy Council, Soker and Paul Monsters, Waterloo Place, Bristol, June 2021

To the left of the collaboration is a stunning nautilus or ammonite piece by Andy Council, who seems to have strayed from constructing his creatures from architecture to painting blocks that are ‘stitched’ together with bits of ‘chord’. The outcome is a very clever effect of life that is constrained from inanimate parts. Andy Council has been unbelievably busy on the streets over the last year, and I can’t remember a time when I have seen so much of his work. This is very good news.

Andy Council, Soker and Paul Monsters, Waterloo Place, Bristol, June 2021
Andy Council, Soker and Paul Monsters, Waterloo Place, Bristol, June 2021

To the right of the creature is a high-end piece of wildstyle writing from Soker painted in shades of blue with a white border/3D shadow. Spelling SOKEM, the whole thing is very easy on the eye and so obviously painted by a creative master. It is near perfect.

Andy Council, Soker and Paul Monsters, Waterloo Place, Bristol, June 2021
Andy Council, Soker and Paul Monsters, Waterloo Place, Bristol, June 2021

This collaboration just wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without the outstanding geometric pattern piece from the fabulous Paul Monsters acting as a backdrop, but contributing so much more than that. Paul Monsters pieces might just be the most recognisable in Bristol, and he has really carved out a niche for himself with this unique style and palette.

Overall an outstanding collaboration and a real treat.

3600. M32 roundabout J3 (302)

Soker is an incredibly versatile writer, managing to conjure up no end of extraordinary styles for his usual SOKER letters, but this piece is, in my view, an extra special one produced during a recent birthday celebration paint for Sled One.

Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

The colourful letters are framed within a beautiful flowery border that oozes pure class. It doesn’t take much more than the slightest glance to see that this is a masterful piece with an outstanding overall design, beautifully crafted fills and superb finishing. A supreme piece of graffiti writing.

3561. St Paul’s

Soker hasn’t painted many walls during the pandemic, but what he has lacked in quantity he has surely made up for in quality. This is a magnificent recent piece painted alongside Inkie and Sepr in the depths of St Paul’s.

Soker, St Pauls, Bristol, March 2021
Soker, St Pauls, Bristol, March 2021

Everything about this piece of graffiti writing is right out of the top drawer, from the colour selection to the letter design, the graded fills and dripping black spots. There is so much to enjoy here, and Soker is exceeding even his very high bar.

Soker, St Pauls, Bristol, March 2021
Soker, St Pauls, Bristol, March 2021

I genuinely think that in Inkie, Soker and Sepr, we have some of the very best graffiti writers and street artists in the world, a bold claim I know, but difficult to argue against.

3385. M32 roundabout J3 (271)

Coming across a Soker piece is never disappointing and when it is a variation away from his usual letters SOKER or SOKEM it is especially noteworthy. This wonderfully colourful burner spells out Super FREAK. I don’t know what the reference is, but I do know that the result is superb.

Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020
Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something about Soker’s style that is uniquely his and that makes identification relatively easy… maybe it is the curves in the letters or the 3D shadow, I don’t know, but most of the time it is possible to get it right. The fills in the letters are to die for, and overall this is the work of a craftsman at the very top of his game.

3294. Dean Lane skate park (362)

Within street art circles, the digital social media network is a fairly crowded place, and a fair proportion of the pieces I photograph I have already seen on Instagram and I make a deliberate decision to go and find them. A smaller proportion of pieces I ‘discover’ all on my own and in a strange way this gives me rather more personal satisfaction. I suppose one solution would be to stop using social media (would probably be a good thing in the long run), but somehow these platforms lend themselves so well to the ephemeral nature of the art I love. I found this one without knowing of its existence and what a lovely surprise it was.

Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2020
Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2020

Soker has knocked it out of the park with this tight colourful and beautifully designed piece of graffiti writing in Dean Lane. The colours used with the letters complement each other so well whilst contrasting too – how does he achieve that? The whole thing simply oozes class, something I have said so many times when writing about Soker’s work. Classy work, classy artist.

3289. Cheltenham 2020 (11)

It is time for another short series of posts on this year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival back in September, starting with this lovely collaboration from Bristol artists Inkie and Soker. This is one of those collaborations where the artists share a wall and colour scheme, but each piece is otherwise independent.

Inkie, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020
Inkie, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020

On the left is a stunner from Inkie full of intricate detail. This is a piece which the artist obviously spent a lot of time on and that time has paid off because in my eyes this is a near-perfect piece of graffiti writing.

Soker, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020
Soker, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020

On the right of the wall Soker has similarly smashed it. To anyone seeing this and thinking this is just another piece of graffiti, think again… this is world-class writing from two of the very best, and how lucky are we that they both come from Bristol. The more I look at this piece, the more I enjoy it. Bravo!

Inkie and Soker, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020
Inkie and Soker, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020

3258. M32 roundabout J(3) (258)

A beguiling and very clever collaboration brings together the complementary skills of Paul Monsters and Soker in a piece that has a little secret that isn’t at first inspection very obvious. It is a secret I’ll let you in to. The writing by Soker spells the word TRUE, but upside down it spells FALSE. Very clever stuff and very much in the domain of Graffiti writers who love this kind of letter-play.

Paul Monsters and Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol September 2020
Paul Monsters and Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol September 2020

Of course the writing is top notch, but that is what we expect from Soker. The background design is unmistakably the work of Paul Monsters whose distinctive geometric designs and colour selections adorn walls all over Brisol. Note to self – time for a Paul Monsters gallery?. This is an outstanding collaboration from two great artists and fine fellows.

3204. M32 Spot (82)

Painted alongside friends Inkie, Smak and Sled One, this is a first class piece of graffiti writing from Soker, who since lock down restrictions were eased has been very busy on the streets, which is a great thing for people like me.

Soker, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020
Soker, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020

The writing is superbly clean with a black shadow and white boundary that gives the whole thing a sharp crispness. There is a lovely blend of greens and blues in the letter fills and the red bubbles complement the piece beautifully. The work of a graffiti master.