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.

2895. Raleigh Road vector (30)

This long piece is a bit of a monster and unusually garish for Soker. It has the appearance of a huge washing up session with the grimey green slime getting a bit of a clean up from the bubbly water. The SOKER will come clean.

Soker, Raleigh Road, Bristol, February 2019
Soker, Raleigh Road, Bristol, February 2019

Painted in February last year, the piece would have been one of the last to appear on this particular wall, because not long after the hoardings were removed and the block of flats inhabited. Previously the empty lot had been a wonderful spot and was used every year by Upfest. Another loss to the Bristol street art community, but at least the housing provided looks like it was appropriately affordable.

2826. M32 roundabout J3 (200)

Figuring this one out might be a challenge for those unfamiliar with Bristol artists, because the word VODKA might have little meaning and certainly isn’t a name we see here. Regular readers will all have seen an awful lot of work by this artist in Natural Adventures and so might be familiar with the letter shapes and style.

Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2020
Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2020

It is of course by Soker and a gentle nod to artist Vodka (@ren_jeffys). It is a beautifully conceived and executed piece down on the M32 roundabout. Soker has been on fire over the last month or so – it will be interesting to see if he continues as the Coronavirus restrictions grow.

2819. Dean Lane skate park (293)

From the feature image it is difficult to gauge the significance of this collaborative wall from little more than a week ago in Dean Lane skate park. I gave you a little hint earlier this week with a piece by Rusk which is on the left hand side of this wall behind the fence and which can’t be viewed from this vantage point.

Soker, Inkie and Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020
Soker, Inkie and Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020

I had decided to take the dog for a walk to Dean Lane and talk about being in the right place at the right time… this was it, and so utterly random that I had chosen to go down there. Not only were Soker, Inkie and Hemper busy doing their thing, but Rusk was also there and watching on were The Agent, Angus, DJ Perks and Tes (Slim Pickings).

Soker and Inkie, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020
Soker and Inkie, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020

It was a little bit like I had died and gone to graffiti heaven. To see these established writers all at work simultaneously was a rare treat indeed, and that other artists who had been tipped-off were watching on made the whole thing feel extra special.

Inkie and Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020
Inkie and Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020

I had met all the artists before with the exception of Hemper who seems to have had something of a renaissance of late, but this wasn’t really the right time to introduce myself, more an opportunity to watch how these guys go about their businness.

Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020
Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020

Soker’s chrome piece on the left is near perfect and spells out Sokem (the R and M are interchangeable in his name). The photographs of the finished pieces were taken a day or two later.

Inkie, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020
Inkie, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020

Inkie’s central panel is classic Inkie and whilst also in chrome stands out due to the deep 3D shading in a striking scarlet colour. This is the third Inkie I have seen so far this year which is not bad going especially as there haven’t been any festivals in that time.

Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020
Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020

I am less well acquainted with Hemper’s work simply because he hasn’t painted as much as the others until relatively recently. Again in chrome, this third panel of the triptych mirrors the colours of Soker’s piece on the left to give some symmetry to the collaborative work. A landmark wall and a red letter day.

Soker, Inkie and Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020
Soker, Inkie and Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020