Tom Miller is no stranger to these pages and remains one of the most wildly creative and surreal forces in the Bristol fine art and street art scene. There is so much going on in this colourful explosion of thoughts and ideas, but it looks like a conflation of a motorcyclist with a bird with a lamb?
There is so much movement in the piece and a blurring of the real with the abstract that confuses our senses a little. You could study the piece for hours and still wonder at the end what on earth it is all about. The best way to find these things out is to ask the artist, but unfortunately I didn’t get to meet him this time… perhaps when I next see him.
This magnificent collaboration between Paul Monsters and Tom Miller was painted a little while back, but I couldn’t work out where it was. I found it by accident when returning from a trip to Greenbank. Although it is a large piece, it is easy to miss if you are not looking out, and is pretty much invisible if driving in the opposite direction.
I’m glad that I did find it though, because it is a truly spectacular collaboration from a pair of artists who are unafraid of using a ton of colour in their work. The two styles, one geometric and the other surreal, are a perfect match because of the blending of colour palette. The elaborate geometric pattern is by Paul Monsters and is as complex as I have seen from him. The frenetic explosion of objects spilling out of a portrait is by Tom Miller, whose work I have been following closely and admiring for several years.
A closer look at Tom Miller’s piece gives us a small window into the busy mind of the artist, with at least three portraits, a car, a rubber duck and some crystals. Heaven only knows what it all means, but it matters not, it is the work of an enormously talented artist. This is as fine a collaboration as I have seen this year.
Elton Street paint jams are something that, until last year, have passed me by a little. Some five or six ‘billboard’ panels fixed to the wall of a building are painted simultaneously, by a selection of artists, usually with a colour theme running as a golden thread between the pieces.
This panel is by the magnificent Tom Miller, whose surreal and busy creations continue to thrill and bemuse in equal measure. Here we have a dog or wolf bursting out of the picture in a splash of colour, with a pan or bowl suspended in front of him. This is a real work of art, brilliantly executed. I miss his occasional pieces in the Bearpit, where he first announced his entry onto the Bristol street art scene, but he makes up for it with walls large and small all over the city.
Tom Miller has been very busy recently with a few commissions, and of course his lovely collaboration piece with Kin Dose on Nelson Street, that I published yesterday (Christmas Day). This new mural on the wall of the Basement Beer brewery tap room in Upper York Street is an absolute beauty and full of depth and symbolism.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Tom Miller (thank you, Paul, for the tip-off) while he was putting the finishing touches on the piece, and stopped for a wee chat. Tom Miller is one of the gentlest, kindest and most lovely artists I meet doing the rounds, and he is so generous with his time, always willing to talk and discuss his work. During our conversation, I asked him about the painting, and he gave me a few little insights.
The steps that appear on the piece are a direct reference to the steps in the doorway sign ‘basement beer’, which kind of makes sense, but might not be obvious when just glancing at the piece.
There is always so much going on in Tom Miller’s pieces, and he has really delved into the spirit of the venue with some clever mash-ups of people and drinks, creating some rather surreal and colourful characters.
This is an artwork that deserves to be seen and admired, and we are so lucky in Bristol that we get to see so much free art like this. Tom’s canvasses are something special too. Always bright, colourful and frenetic, they display a stream of consciousness captured on canvass or a wall and frozen in that moment. Fabulous work.
Happy Christmas folks, a very special day for us, just the nuclear family, no visits, no visiting, just us. Over the last two years we have become used to each others’ company and generally get on surprisingly well, so being together today for our festivities is stress free. I am in between preparing the turkey and sorting vegetables and have a slot to do this quick post.
Two of Bristol’s finest artists, Tom Miller and Kin Dose (now referred to as Kin Official) have combined to produce this remarkable Christmas collaboration on Nelson Street.
On the left is a very special mural from Tom Miller, as imaginative as usual and brimming over with winter themes. I think that the figure is handling Christmas parcels, emblazoned with hearts. There is so much movement and colour as you might expect with Tom Miller. A wonderful piece.
Next to Tom’s piece is an incredible Grinch mural by Kin Dose, who really is one of my favourite artists in Bristol. His attention to detail and photo realism techniques are awesome. In this piece, I love the coronavirus Christmas decoration, so in keeping with the Grinch character.
A perfect Christmas collaboration. Once again may I wish you all a very happy day.
So full of colour and imagination, this is an exceptional three-way collaboration from Tom Miller, Smak and Sled One, on, in my view, one of the best walls in Bristol.
On the left is an extraordinary contorted face from Tom Miller all looking a little bit nightmarish, with colours and shapes cascading from the mouth.
On the lower centre of the collaboration is a nice piece of equally colourful writing from Smak that complements Tom Miller’s piece.
Towards the top right hand side, the collaboration is topped off by a curious (aren’t they always), character piece from Sled One. It looks a little like an astronaut whose helmet has split and is experiencing rather unpleasant things. The whole collaboration is a celebration in colour and works nicely. It would be nice to see these three work together again.
In the last twelve months or so the board at Turbo Island has attracted some fabulous pieces by greatly talented artists and now it is the turn of Tom Miller with his debut piece on this wall. And what an amazing start.
Tom Miller has been turning out so many pieces since lock down and I have struggled to keep up with them. Some are for fun like this one, but he has also worked on a couple of commissions which is really good, because an artist’s life is a tough one and paid work can be hard to come by.
There is an abundance of colour and form in this abstract piece and typical of the artist there is a great deal of energy and activity. So much to look at and so much detail, it can be hard for the brain to decipher exactly what is going on, but this is a great strength that Tom Miller has. It is not to everyone’s taste, but I love it.
I have always intended to post this huge piece on the wall of a garage in Surrey Street by Tom Miller, but just never got round to it. Cometh the moment, cometh the man. This early piece (2016) is typical of the explosion of ideas that comes from this creative dynamo and his colourful style.
There is no point in tryig to fathom out a story here, because although there almost certainly is one, it could take a lifetime to work out. All sorts of body parts and possibly an environmental theme are represented here in this surreal piece.
At the time, I don’t recall there being much of a fuss about this piece, and I think it remained under the radar for quite a long time. Alas it has now gone.
This unusual piece by Tom Miller is an advert for a band called Mama Jerk and the Lady Fingers. At this point I should like to thank Tom for introducing me to something wonderful and new. I am not very good at keeping up with the contemporary music scene in Bristol, I don’t go out much and when I do it is usually to visit friends or to eat out. Live or loud music I find great fun but a bit isolating, because my hearing is getting worse and I can’t hear anything people say to me and I have not yet learned the fine art of lip reading. Back to the point. In researching this piece, I checked out Mama Jerk on the interweb, and guess what… I loved their quirky fusion music. Furthermore I fully recommend that you take a look at or listen to their track ‘mountain’ you won’t regret it. This piece celebrates their second EP.
If I am brutally honest, this is not the best piece by this brilliant artist, but I forgive him wholeheartedly for introducing me to something I think I might enjoy for some time to come. The writing is ok, but the creatures are a little bit more what we would expect from Tom Miller and have an added element of mystery or menace about them with the white crosses over their eyes. A great outcome from following my passion for street art.
During the early part of September I was away quite a lot and I didn’t have much time in Bristol to go to my usual haunts to find street art. This is always a little tricky, because FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) kicks in. Because the turnover of art in some places is so high, you can miss an awful lot of good work over the course of a fortnight. Of course I missed quite a lot, but as soon as I was able, I walked and drove to as many spots as I could, including Stapleton Road. As I was slowly driving along, I became aware of a pinky-purple flash on my left with my peripheral vision, but when I turned to look, I had passed whatever it was. I had a hunch it might be something I would be interested in so pulled into a parking space and walked back. I was rewarded with this magnificent new piece by Tom Miller, which I had seen on social media, but had no idea where it was.
I have posted many works by Tom Miller and have a gallery of his amazing pieces on Natural Adventures. This piece though has something really special about it. It was painted on a wall that had a few tags on it, but was nothing to write home about. Tom Miller has transformed it into a focal point for this little stretch of Stapleton Road in Easton.
So, what is going on in this piece? If I am honest I am not too sure. His style is rather surreal and busy and I think there is a lot of symbolism and personal baggage in the piece. The central character’s face has been replaced with enlarged eyes and a house and to the right is a pony or something like that, a toy perhaps. The whole piece is extremely colourful and like many of his works, full of movement. I expect one could spend hours trying to analyse and deconstruct the piece, but that is an academic exercise that might yield utterly incorrect conclusions. Perhaps the best way to understand the piece is to ask the artist himself, which I will do next time I see him. Brilliant and unusual piece.