3988. M32 Cycle path (144)

It was a case of third time lucky with these pictures… my previous efforts were taken in bright sunlight and a shadow was cast across the middle of the piece, so while the colours were perhaps a little more vibrant the photographs were shit (pardon me). (my spell checker has just highlighted a profanity, ha ha).

Taboo, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, September 2021
Taboo, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, September 2021

Taboo is a real favourite of mine and his wacky of-beat pieces are a fantastic challenge to all that is conventional in street art. Taboo’s writing is eratic and unpredictable and usually in a monotone, somewhat akin to the writing of Alos and other similar writers, but then, alongside this unconventional writing, Boom! Taboo gives us a perfect rendition of Mini Mouse.

Taboo, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, September 2021
Taboo, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, September 2021

This juxtaposition is what gives his work its unique and memorable identity, something we can all identify with while at the same time be puzzled by. I have made it no secret that I am a big fan of his work and get a buzz whenever I see his stuff.

3875. M32 roundabout J3 (340)

It is always so good to see a new piece from Taboo, and it feels like a little while since his last one. This magnificent piece of graffiti writing is on the M32 roundabout, a wall that is seeing an ever-increasing turnover as artists compete for limited space I. The city.

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2021
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2021

The letters, naturally, spell out Taboo, although it takes a little time to work it out if you aren’t used to reading his letters. Unusually for one of his pieces there is no accompanying character, although there is an animated paintbrush in the middle of the piece. His organic and unconventional style is what marks out his work as being rather special and I love it.

3730. Brunel Way (107)

Aah, a classic piece of Taboo writing to keep everyone cheery. Last week I posted a gallery of Taboo’s work, and it really is extraordinary in so many ways. His letters are nice and organic and non-uniform creating a freedom and expression that some more anally retentive artists could not cope with.

Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2021
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2021

As well as his unusual letters which spell TABOO, albeit upside down and backwards, there is a clue in his shout-outs, Taboo nearly always gifts us an interesting character to add to the mix. In this case the character is a melting Mickey Mouse. This is not the first Mickey Mouse that Taboo has painted and he certainly seems to like his classics, such as Tom and Jerry and Popeye. A great fun piece.

Taboo

A gallery of outstanding graffiti writing and character pieces from Bristol’s Taboo

All photographs by Scooj

Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2021
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2021
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020
Taboo, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2020
Taboo, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, August 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, August 2020
Taboo, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2020
Taboo, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, May 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, May 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, May 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, May 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2020

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.