4527. North Street

Weekends, early mornings and evenings reveal a whole extra opportunity for viewing street art, with the expanse of shop front shutters on view. In North Street, Bedminster, probably about a third of all the pieces on view are on shutters, and if you aren’t there at the right time they are pieces you simply will not see.

Taboo, North Street, Bristol, June 2022
Taboo, North Street, Bristol, June 2022

This fine shutter piece from Taboo is the second I have posted recently and is only a stone’s throw from his first. Taboos unconventional writing style presents an unusual TABOO, with a distorted Mickey Mouse face making up the first ‘O’. This is classic taboo and so good to see. I like his work and his style which is a shift from more conventional works we are used to seeing, and keeps things fresh.

Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022
Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022

4466. North Street

Timing can be crucial when photographing street art, and shutters in particular need to be down to be photographed properly or indeed at all. Parking also presents a problem (if not on foot) with some specific spots, and this shutter piece by Taboo on North Street has evaded me for far too long, but a week or son ago the stars aligned, and I was able to grab a couple of snaps.

Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022
Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022

Taboo has such an interesting style, that I have a feeling might be called anti-graff, although it is only a term I have recently become aware of, and I might have got that wrong. However, using his writing and character combination, Taboo has smashed this shutter, with great design, colour and a spectacular Minnie Mouse.

Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022
Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022

There is a lot to like here, made all the more admirable for being on a shutter, which are notoriously difficult to paint. Captured and catalogued at last.

4440. Cumberland Basin

One of the most recognisable styles in Bristol is from Taboo, and the interesting thing about that is that although he usually writes ‘Taboo’, no two pieces look the same, unlike some writers who like to recreate their letters in a similar format from piece to piece.

Taboo, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022
Taboo, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022

In this one, Taboo’s unruly letters, once again seem to defy convention, for example, he uses two different border colours halfway through the word. The letters are imaginative and creative, and don’t really follow a font style, although one can tell that they are all by the same artist. No character in this piece, which is a bit of a pity, because they add a further dimension to the overall work. This is yet another wonderful piece of writing from an artist who likes to plough his own furrow.

4327. Dean Lane skate park (475)

There are all sorts of conventions in the world of graffiti and street art, and broadly speaking most artists remain within the boundaries, albeit on a vast spectrum. There are some artists who seem to linger on the fringes of convention, either through their content or style, and I would class Taboo as one of those.

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2022
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2022

Although Taboo’s writing and character combinations are reasonably conventional, his lettering style and incorporation of characters is not, and this is what sets him apart from other artists. In this piece ‘reality is not enough’ his unusual letters, spelling out ‘Taboo’ in chrome, serve as a backdrop to a C. S. Lewis character from Alice in Wonderland, the caterpillar puffing on a hookah. This is wonderful hallucinogenic stuff, and I am rather sure that the author would probably approve.

4221. St Werburghs tunnel (275)

Another piece from the archive, and what an absolute belter it is. Taboo is known for his rather irregular writing and cartoon character combinations, so this piece of writing in St Werburghs was a bit of a creative outlier.

Taboo, St Werburghs, Bristol, November 2019
Taboo, St Werburghs, Bristol, November 2019

Painted in big block letters, the word taboo, in a mixture of upper and lower case, has a clever twist from the artist, with a character lamp shining across the letters, marking out light and shade. There is so much to love about this forgotten and rather untypical piece.

4163. Cumberland Basin

I ventured out on a rather sunny winter’s day to photograph this wall and rather regret doing so, because the glare is so bright in the photographs, it is difficult to truly appreciate the fine graffiti writing from Taboo.

Taboo, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2021
Taboo, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2021

Following his usual format of a character bound together with his unconventional joined up writing, Taboo introduces us to a psychedelic world in which a Bart Simpson is riding the skies on his skateboard, slightly worse for wear on what appear to be ecstasy pills popping out of his severed head.

Taboo, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2021
Taboo, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2021

The character/writing combination is bright and colourful and so utterly uniquely Taboo. It is always nice to find his work, even when light conditions for photography aren’t too good.

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