3442. L Dub (22)

Lockdown isn’t all bad (although it is pretty bad, granted) because it seems that it triggers some activity from certain street artists, including Laic217. Since the New Year, Laic217 has been hitting walls fairly regularly and that is a great thing – I am guessing that perhaps he can’t work or has been furloughed or something like that.

Laic217, L Dub, Bristol, January 2021
Laic217, L Dub, Bristol, January 2021

This piece, close to another one at L Dub shows Laic217 at his graffiti art best, a skeleton figure in a subversive pose giving a double bird in a flaming background. As usual, the creases and folds in the hat and clothes is a speciality of his and something that seems to come so naturally these days. A fine fiery piece.

3441. Dean Lane skate park (383)

Biers, Bags and a bed! Dean Lane sometimes plays host to the occasional fly-tipper, which I have to confess is a pet hate of mine. The kind of person who thinks that it is OK to simply throw their waste away in the street or on other people’s property are the scum of the earth. Inconsiderate and stupid, I have no time for them – rant over.

Biers, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020
Biers, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020

This is a rather colourful collaboration from No Frills stable mates Biers and Bags. On the left is a really beautifully worked BIERS split into three distinct horizontal frills with serrated edges, which must have taken a bit of time to do. The whole thing is bounded by a bright yellow 3D shadow.

Bags, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020
Bags, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020

The other half of the collaboration is by Bags who is completely under-represented on Natural Adventures. I don’t really know why that is, I have plenty of his pieces in my archives, but rarely post them – I might have to remedy that. Bags has gone for a diagonal split across his letters. The yellow half works really well, but the red half looks like he ran out of paint and the fill resembles that of a throw up, which is a pity. A nice collaboration on one of the best walls in Bristol.

3440. Frome side (7)

There are some pieces that will have very limited audiences, and this is one of them. Soap has painted one of his trademark smiley mouth-skull pieces on the back of a pillar under the M32 overlooking the River Frome. The only way of getting to see it is by dropping down under the motorway and walking along the reinforced bank of the River Frome. It can’t even be seen from the overlooking M32 Spot.

Soap, Frome side, Bristol, December 2020
Soap, Frome side, Bristol, December 2020

One might ask why paint something that so few people will see, but that might be missing the point a bit about the motivations behind why graffiti and street artists do what they do. It tends to be for the love of doing it. This is a particularly nice example of his mouthy face, with a lovely yellow background and sharp lines with some nice fills. The white highlights work really well to give it that 3D lift. A great column piece.

3439. Cumberland Basin

As gentrification in the city picks up pace, traditional graffiti hot spots are becoming fewer and fewer – there is often a stay of execution while hoardings go up around a development, but eventually these come down revealing pristine new student accommodations or other unaffordable housing, inappropriate for the communities that live near these developments. One of the knock-on effects is that the turnover of street art/graffiti on the remaining walls has increased considerably. This wall in the Cumberland Basin is a great example of a wall that is changing more and more frequently.

Slakarts, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020
Slakarts, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020

Slakarts gives us a double-vision version of his smiling three-quarter profile mega-tag in this happy piece alongside Rezwonk, just to the right. Slakarts has been turning these out on a reasonably regular basis over the last six months or so but they all face the same direction – it would be interesting to see if he could replicate them looking the other way. There is something quite seductive about this piece – it is unusual and set in a vibrant context. Expect more like this before too long.

3438. St Werburghs tunnel (219)

There are a bunch of writers in Bristol who have one thing in common, they write the same letters in roughly the same letter style, but add creativity in the colour selections and fill styles that they choose. Phour is one such artist, and this is a recent piece of his from St Werburghs tunnel.

Phour, St Werburghs, Bristol, January 2021
Phour, St Werburghs, Bristol, January 2021

The tunnel is a great place for rainy day painting and there is a rich seam of, in the main, great graffiti and street art. In fact the only problem with the tunnel is the light conditions, which mean that photographs from there never do the artwork justice, with a lot of orange and yellow polluting the images. With a little adjustment, I managed to get as close as possible to the true colours of this Phour piece. Nice letters, nice 3D work and a very good background. Good to see.

3437. L Dub (21)

It would appear that lockdown impacts on different artists in different ways. Some will hunker-down, and they disappear from the scene for a while, others are liberated and seem to go crazy, hitting walls with refreshed vigour. Falling into the latter category is Slim Pickings (TES) who has been out and about a lot over the last month or so.

Slim Pickings, L Dub, Bristol, January 2021
Slim Pickings, L Dub, Bristol, January 2021

We know what to expect from Slim Pickings’ pieces – sharp crisp lines, reliably solid fills and unbounded 3D shading. It is all here with the addition of a couple of little white highlights. Great stuff. Looks like he might have had a small issue with his yellow paint, especially just to the right of the ‘S’. Good to see his work at L Dub.

3436. M32 Spot (101)

The most common phrase I have used when writing about the work of Face 1st is “I will never tire of the work of Face 1st” and that phrase is as true now as it ever has been. Big or small, throw up or intricate piece, it just doesn’t matter, his art chimes for me, and he and those like him, are the engine room of Bristol graffiti art.

Face 1st, M32 Spot, Bristol, January 2021
Face 1st, M32 Spot, Bristol, January 2021

The new(ish) ramps at the M32 Spot are proving to be quite a fertile ‘canvass’ for our artists and Face 1st has painted this back board with one of his characteristic winking girls with hair made up of FACE. I love everything about this. There is an element of Marine Boy anime in those eyes.

in writing that last sentence I got distracted by Marine Boy. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a trip down memory Lane with typing Marine Boy into YouTube. Enjoy.

3435. Dean Lane skate park (382)

Another artist having a bit of a spree at the moment is Dott Rotten, whose work is in the top division. Take a look at this piece of graffiti writing from a week or two back and tell me that it isn’t out of the top drawer. This is an artist who is at the top of his game and seems to be enjoying it.

Dott Rotten, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2021
Dott Rotten, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2021

The writing with his familiar SPOILT letters is nicely worked with two shades of blue, perfect orange outlines and some superb trademark bubbles. The whole piece is lifted up with a deep red 3D shading. This is great graffiti writing.

3434. L Dub (20)

This is an interesting piece from Laic217 because the writing behind the character is most un-Laic217 if you know what I mean. Also the character, although obviously by the Laic217 is not quite his typical style and could conceivably be by another artist.

Laic217, L Dub, Bristol, January 2021
Laic217, L Dub, Bristol, January 2021

It is nice to see artists switch it up a bit from time to time and this is a great example of that. I can’t remember when I last saw filled writing like this from Laic217, an element usually provided by his painting compatriot Cort. Overall this is an unexpected and intriguing piece and demonstrates the range that Laic217 has.

3433. M32 roundabout J3 (275)

When all else in the crazy world we live in is kicking off and our landmarks and routines are blown apart, there is a beating heart, metronome-like, tick-tocking in the background and that is the quiet, modest, ever-present production line of graffiti writing from Corupt. It is rather comforting when you think about it.

Corupt, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2021
Corupt, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2021

In this outstanding piece Corupt has written STICK, which is one of the two common letter combinations he uses. His humour shines through with this “Happy New Tier” story to welcome all of us into 2021 in a lockdown situation. The letters are beautiful, the fills are beautiful and the colour combinations are beautiful. A beautiful cheery piece.