One of the busiest artists over the summer has been Taboo with his rather unconventional style of writing. Why is it unconventional I hear you ask… tumbleweed… well I’ll give you my perspective. His letters look like they are made of rubber. They have no consistent form or size and don’t seem to follow any formula or rules. Letters may be stretched or condensed and some are replaced with motifs or characters. His pieces are quite anarchic in a graffiti writing world that is surprisingly conventional.
This one under Brunel Way by the riverside spells out TABOO with a wobbly skull between the T and A. An Ionic column makes a random appearance in the first O. Unusal and interesting ans as I said at the start unconventional.
Moon Street still holds an important place in my heart. Although it rarely hosts ‘top end’ pieces it represents, for me anyway, the beating heart of the Bristol graffiti scene. The area around Moon Street is steadily being gentrified, and in time these images of street/graffiti art will be distant memories. I don’t recall seeing a Taboo piece in this street before, so I was thrilled to come across this one recently.
This new piece is beautifully laid out on a blue background that gives it some prominence. In typical fashion, Taboo’s unconventional lettering style spells out TABOO with a long-nosed character on the left and a ghostly face constituting the second O. As is often the case, there is a little shout-out to his girlfriend Amy. I’m really enjoying Taboo’s work at the moment.
Taboo clearly has a great sense of fun which really comes out in his work. He is an unconventional graffiti writer using large curvy and often erratic lettering that appears to be being used by a number of ‘new school’ artists in Bristol.
Taboo has incorporated a policeman, looking very much like an American cop, chasing after a smiley face that is scuttling away to the left of the piece. Although his work sometimes looks a bit ragged, I consider Taboo to be a talented street artist who is pushing the boundaries of convention.
The workmanship of the cop character is skilfully done and almost feels slightly underplayed and modest. On its own it would stand up as a fine piece of work. Looking forward to seeing where Taboo will take us next.
Taboo has been so, so busy lately, and up until yesterday he had three large pieces spread out on this wall of which this is one. Taboo is different and most creative. His writing is unlike any other we see about the place and his characters play an integral role in the writing rather than a cheerful add-on. Ok… let’s get this straight… this is not by Taboo, but by Whos, whose writing looks like Taboo’s. So scratch the first half of this paragraph.
I would love to say that the writing says TABOO, but I can’t fully see it myself, so maybe it says something else (yep, it says WHOS). Embracing the letters is a long-armed character, possibly an inmate, because the thrust of the piece is articulated along the bottom ‘no more super prisons’. The sun and the green dog add extra colour and interest. A fine piece from Whos.
Is it at all possible that this piece is all by one artist? Well not only is it possible, it is in fact true. The extraordinary piece is by extraordinary artist Taboo and is an old school/new school style split work.A piece like this really shows off the obvious talent of the artist in some style.
On the left hand side of the piece is a wonderful old school piece of wild style writing with a superb character smoking and sporting a fine red hat. The letter shapes, shading and fills are superbly done and appear to be being sucked into a contraption converting the artwork into something altogether more modern.
On the right hand side, the piece is altogether more surreal and eclectic and perhaps reflects a more new school approach to graffiti writing. I have no idea what is going on here but there might be a clue to Taboo’s approach which is the little note at the bottom ‘find your own’. This is a really interesting piece from an artist who would seem to have had a new lease of life.
Another artist who has been pretty busy since the end of May is Taboo, and his ‘new school’ work is really rather quirky and organic. The central part of this piece looks like a standard throw up, and then it has a dynamic and beautifully painted character incorporated into the work, almost as it it were by two artists – something Taboo does very well.
I really don’t like this hoarding at all though. It is at the start of the M32 cycle path, and the large sky above it makes photography, without flaring, almost impossible. Dull days or dusk are probably the best times to come down to this spot.
Back to the piece ‘landed in the wrong dimension’, Taboo has painted an incredible Mickey Mouse figure with a surreal distortion to the top of his head that circles round into the A of TABOO. There is something edgy and unsettling about the whole thing, challenging the familiar. Great work.
This is the second of three large recent pieces by Taboo that appeared at the back end of May. Unfortunately, the third and largest had been overpainted by the time I got to it, such is the high turnover of work at the moment.
I’m not sure if it is just me or what, but the piece seems to say ABOO without the T… maybe he just ran out of space or the T and A are conflated. Big letters, a snake and a skull give me all I would need from a large burner like this. Great work.
I don’t know this artist’s street name, but I call him Taboo because I use the convention of naming him after the letters he writes. His Instagram account is @forbidden_association which doesn’t tell us much more about him.
This new piece in Dean Lane is really nicely done and incorporates Tom Cat from Tom and Jerry. The letters, which spell out TABOO, are nicely done and have a chunky heavy look about them which is typical of the artist. If you are looking for a light touch, fine detail and finesse, you are unlikely to find it here, and yet the character element of the piece has a much softer touch. A really nice and rather unusual piece.
This is a really interesting piece to write about because it has given me an opportunity to introduce you to an artist I have never posted before here on Natural Adventures. I have a whole ton of his work in my files, but didn’t quite know how to break the ice. The artist is Taboo, or at least that is what I will call him (her?) until I know more about them, which currently is zilch. You can see the word TABOO in reverse in this piece (I thought it said EAT when I first saw it) with the OO being made out of the eyes of the skull.
There is a definite style here that is consistent across all of his work, with quite bold lettering that is in a font all of its own. The artwork is quite crude, in so much as it is not clean and crisp like so many graffiti writers in Bristol, but it has something in the raw approach that makes it rather effective. The skull appears to be firing beams out at the letters, which I am guessing might have been a bit of an afterthought.
All in all I rather like this different kind of piece from Taboo and over time look forward to posting more of his work and understanding more about the artist. A good start.