3411. Dean Lane skate park (376)

There was quite a good show of Christmas pieces this year including this colourful beauty by Taboo in Dean Lane skate park. As we expect, Taboo’s unconventional writing style challenges us and pushed the boundaries of what we are accustomed to. I love that about his work, he really is leading the way by thinking outside the box.

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020

Although his style is progressive, the format is more conventional with a character, in this instance Father Christmas, combined with the graffiti writing. Santa is looking a little worse for wear, enjoying some Christmas bubbly but the writing, spelling out TABOO, is uplifting and colourful to reflect the Christmas spirit. This is probably my favourite Christmas piece year.

3403. St Werburghs tunnel (217)

One of the most consistent Bristol graffiti writers (plus characters) of 2020 was Taboo, whose imaginative and unconventional creations brightened up walls all over the city. Although not to everyone’s taste, his unique style and obvious (underplayed) talent brought us a succession of notable and humorous pieces.

Taboo, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2020
Taboo, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2020

This one in St Werburghs tunnel takes us deep into his root style of oddly shaped letters (spelling TABOO), his favourite pink and black colours and a sense of anarchy that I really like. I had to auto-fix the colours on Photoshop for this one, without which the whole thing looked yellow from the horrible lighting in the tunnel.

3332. Brunel Way bridge (75)

Virtually impossible to photograph properly, but wonderful to see is this Halloween Taboo piece. I seem to recall a little while ago saying that I hadn’t found many Halloween pieces this year – well, scratch that, I have found rather a lot, and on this wall there were six or seven alone.

Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020

It is tricky to see the full Taboo on this, but I think you get the idea, and the character ghost is absolutely brilliant. I think the contrast between Taboo’s letters and characters is what makes his work so interesting, almost as if they are by two different artists.

Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020

A very fine piece indeed.

3273. M32 roundabout J3 (259)

This is the second recent piece from Taboo, the other one was in Dean Lane skate park. A feature of both of these superb pieces is the use of lots of colour, which is noteworthy simply because many of his pieces can be based around two or three colours. Perhaps he has been on a recent spending spree.

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020

Taboo has stuck to his usual tradition of writing his name followed with a character piece, which will be familiar to most of you as Tom cat from Tom and Jerry. In addition there is an appearance from his Kilroy (was here) character in yellow peering out from one of the ‘O’s.

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020

The Tom is superbly painted and the story being told here would indicate that Taboo considers his work to have been 19 years in the making and combines a mixed up style underpinned by no talent and painting big. I fear this is a modest story, and I consider this piece to demonstrate his obvious talents for all to see. Unusual yes, but nonetheless skilled and creative.

3266. Dean Lane skate park (358)

Taboo has been busy again, this time with an uncharacteristically colourful piece in Dean Lane skate park. As with most Taboo pieces, this one is a graffiti writing and character combination and is certainly eye catching.

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020

The letters are unruly as always, not following any strict code of script, rather they appear to be crafted on-the-hoof in an organic creative outpouring. The colours and fills are to be admired and the whole thing is really rather attractive.

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020

Of course, the eye is drawn to the Popeye Character flipping open a tin of spinach, that rather surprisingly has spewed out a train, arcing over his head. What the f…? Whenever I look at pieces by Taboo, I am drawn into a deeply surreal place where anything is possible. This one is a classic.

3155. Brunel Way bridge (53)

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.

Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, August 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, August 2020

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.

3142. Moon Street (84)

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.

Taboo, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2020
Taboo, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2020

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.

3100. M32 roundabout J3 (243)

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, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

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.

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

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.

3063. M32 roundabout J3 (233)

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.

Whos, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Whos, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

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.

3053. M32 roundabout J3 (230)

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.

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020

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.

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020

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.