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.

3159. Dean Lane skate park (348)

Soker never disappoints. His graffiti writing is always of the highest possible quality and he sets a very high bar for other writers in Bristol to aspire to. This is a super little piece alongside Inkie in Dean Lane from a week or two back.

Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, August 2020
Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, August 2020

The letters are filled with three slightly different shades of blue with some nice bubbles running through the middle. There is some partial 3D shading in yellow with a vanishing point behind the piece and the whole thing is set off perfectly with some red decorations around the perimeter. Clean and crisp, a great example of great writing.

3134. M32 Cycle path (72)

Soker got off to a slow start after lock down, but is gathering speed now, which is great for anyone interested in the work of this great graffiti writer. This lovely piece along the M32 cycle path spelling out SOKEM is a real treat.

Soker, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, August 2020
Soker, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, August 2020

The colour scheme is one he has used before in Bedminster although the style of writing is quite different. Of particular note in this work are the red stri[es on the 3D shading, proviting extra depth, and the blue bubbl;es for interest. Overall a sumptuous piece.

Soker, Norfolk Place, Bristol, April 2019
Soker, Norfolk Place, Bristol, April 2019

3106. North Street

I’m not entirely certain I have seen a collaboration between Andy Council and Soker before so this recent piece on North Street is something of a wonderful surprise. The whole thhing is beautifully balanced and the colour selections work perfectly. The Soker burner in the middle is book-ended with the front and back of a dragon with parts of the back running the length of the whole piece for continuity.

Soker, North Street, Bristol, July 2020
Soker, North Street, Bristol, July 2020

I’ll start with the Soker writing, which as ever is top notch with a five colour horizontal fill that works really well and some pink/mauve 3D shading that adds real depth to the lettering. On its own this is remarkable.

Andy Council, North Street, Bristol, July 2020
Andy Council, North Street, Bristol, July 2020

The front end of the dragon by Andy Council is made up of individual components stitched together with pink looping thread. There is movement and power in this dragon, but its form is a figment of our imaginations. Very clever.

Andy Council, North Street, Bristol, July 2020
Andy Council, North Street, Bristol, July 2020

The rear end of the dragon is more of the same, but some of the component parts begin to resemble feathers flutteing away, which I am sure is no accident, because Andy Council’s usual preference for dinosaurs woud include scales and primitive feathers (derived from scales). A wonderful collaboration from thes two godfathers of Bristol street art.

3078. M32 roundabout J3 (238)

This fine piece by Soker was a part of the graffiti writer paint jam from a week or so back. I do think that there is a lot to be said for prepping a wall beforehand for artists of a certain calibre such as Soker, that makes a kind of statement that this work is worth proper treatment – some might view this as taking the edge out of graffiti and I would understand that, but I like it.

Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

This piece is on the face of it wonderfully simple, until you take a look at the orange fills with blue drips and the use of five colours graded horizontally in the letters. The purple spots just add something special (Imagine the piece without them). Great work from a graffiti master.

2931. Raleigh Road Vector (31)

It seems somewhat remarkable that so many Soker pieces have been left behind in my archive over the last few years, but on the upside, it means I can share them with you now, while there is something of a slowdown with the appearance of new work in Bristol at the moment. I feel that things might be about to change however, with a slight relaxation of lock down.

Soker, Raleigh Road, Bristol, June 2018
Soker, Raleigh Road, Bristol, June 2018

This is a stunninng, crisp, clean and very easy on the eye piece of writing from Soker on a hoarding that sadly no longer exists. A beautiful design, great colour selection and fabulous 3D shadow that lifts the piece from the background all add up to piece of the highest quality from this master graffiti writer.