4153. M32 roundabout J3 (373)

The PWA boys were so very busy in 2021, and their numbers swelled with the additions of Nightwayss, Zake and Chill. Few spots in Bristol were untouched by their joyful collaborations, among them this fine wall at the M32 roundabout.

Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2021
Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2021

To the left is a well crafted piece of writing from Soap with some curious and interesting ideas creeping in, including the slogan, much used by street artists, ‘eat the rich’. The whole thing is liberally sprinkled with cut gemstones, something I must ask Soap about next time I see him.

Zake, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2021
Zake, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2021

The middle section of this triptych is by Zake with a characteristic face, full of expression and beautiful contours exaggerated by skilful shading and highlighting. The face also has a hand which is operating a little string puppet. There is a story here, but I am not too sure what it is.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2021
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2021

The final part of the collaboration is by Face 1st and it is a really fabulous bit of writing, sans smiling girl. Lots of gunge oozing from the 3D lettering, which seems to have been a bit of a thing for Face 1st in 2021. There was a fourth part to this collaboration, which was the Nightwayss piece I posted a few days ago, but it didn’t sit as part of the symmetry of these three pieces.

Happy New Year.

4070. Dean Lane skate park (439)

It looks like Zake has been taken under the wing of PWA (Pirate Wall Art crew) recently, at least he seems to be painting a lot alongside Face 1st, Soap and Nightwayss. This is a superb and fun collaboration between Face 1st, Soap and Zake, and plays to their collective strengths.

Soap, Face 1st and Zake, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2021
Soap, Face 1st and Zake, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2021

I like this collaboration, because it is a merger of all three artists, with the outer two smiling girls from Face 1st, the laughing scull/mouths from Soap and the jolly centrepiece from Zake. All of these characters set on a boiling bubble splash of orange, red and pink. A joyful and fun collaboration, which I don’t think lasted too long – nothing much does on this wall these days.

4066. Brunel Way (133)

Zake is fast becoming one of the most prolific artists in Bristol. His wonderful stylised faces are appearing all over the place with regularity, and of course improving all the time. This lovely recent piece is at the curved end of the concrete support wall under Brunel Way.

Zake, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2021
Zake, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2021

Zake’s work is typified by his extraordinary understanding of light and shadow, and the features on his faces are accentuated by the shading, gaining real depth. Often, his work will be under-lit or side-lit, but this one has a fairly uniform front-lit aspect. This piece is beautifully presented too.

3982. Dean Lane skate park (432)

I have a feeling that this fine little collaboration by Spanish duo Zake and Varo was painted on or around the Dean Lane Hardcore (DLH) event a couple of weeks ago. It is especially noteworthy because although Zake has been painting a lot recently, Varo has been on the rather quiet side for some time.

Zake, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2021
Zake, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2021

The face is obviously by Zake and yet another fantastic piece in his expanding repertoire. Once again, the piece is given a 3D appearance by some clever colour schemes, shading and highlighting, which is something of a speciality for Zake. The character has a thought bubble with the words ‘SK8 or Die’, which is definitely playing to the right audience in this spot.

Varo, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2021
Varo, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2021

Varo’s graffiti writing is altogether something different. He definitely favours these large blocky letters spelling out VARO, and with this artist, less is definitely more. He doesn’t go for intricate, swirly or patterned fills, but just keeps things simple. I love the turquoise middles to his letters that with some clever shading appear to hover above the letters. Good stuff – and as a bonus you get to see my dog’s rear end.

3964. Sparke Evans Park (11)

Zake is smashing it out of the park at the moment, or should I say smashing it out of the Sparke Evans Park (oof, sorry). Not only is he painting a lot, but he is also really working on those features and details of his faces and with this piece creating a whole new kind of character.

Zake, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, September 2021
Zake, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, September 2021

What is it about monkeys? Actually, I am guessing that this monkey is a homage to Nightwayss (who loves monkeys) whose birthday paint jam this was painted for. The colours, shading and expression is all superbly executed and this is the first time I have seen Zake paint fur, and what a job he has done. A smashing piece on a smashing wall painted to honour a smashing artist’s birthday – what’s not to like?

3876. Cumberland Basin

Watching Zake apply the light and dark shading to this fabulous piece during Eman’s birthday paint jam was a real pleasure. He has become something of a specialist at refining the effects of light and dark on his faces with the light source in this case coming from the left hand side. This clever shading exaggerates the features and created more of a 3D effect.

Zake, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, August 2021
Zake, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, August 2021

Although his English isn’t great, it was nice to be able to talk with him for a while about his technique. Like all the artists around him on the day, he really seems to enjoy what he does. My only regret from the day is that when I returned the next day to take photographs of the finished pieces, three of them, including Eman’s, had been painted over.

3802. M32 roundabout J3 (337)

I mentioned in a recent post that Zake has been busy of late, and this new piece is a fine example of the rich vein of form he is in at the moment. Painted in collaboration with Soap and arte.mis.29 on the M32 roundabout wall.

Zake, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2021
Zake, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2021

The face (what else?) appears to be that of a woman and her hair blends into a head scarce, and it is hard to know where the one ends and the other begins. As always with Zake’s work he pays a lot of attention to shading and shadows to create relief in the feature of the face. A really lovely piece.

3780. Turbo Island

This was a rather nice little quick collaboration from Face 1st, Soap and Zake that rather predictably didn’t last very long. Turbo Island is a funny spot. Sometimes a piece can last for weeks there, but more often anything that is painted gets tagged within 24 hours and then it is up to someone else to pick up the batton.

Face 1st, Soap and Zake, Turbo Island, Bristol, June 2021
Face 1st, Soap and Zake, Turbo Island, Bristol, June 2021

Of course, we know that PWA boys Face 1st and Soap are regular painting buddies, but it is great to see Zake join them in this collaboration. Face 1st and Soap have merged their pieces in red with their trademark face and mouth/skull respectively. To the right, the Zake face reminds me very much of a ‘man in the moon’ type character, and has so much expression, looking over at the other two.

A great fun collaboration.

3765. Brunel Way (113)

It would appear that Zake is off the leash. Over the past month, I have seen and photographed several Zake pieces that seem to get better and better. This is the first one in a series, and a good starting point.

Zake, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2021
Zake, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2021

I first came across Zake’s work on the columns under the M32 several of which still remain, which is remarkable really and shows the respect from other artists. Although this is not his best work, it does hark back to those earlier pieces. There is some great uplighting going on here and an exaggerated characterful face. Watch this space for more from Zake.

3737. Dean Lane skate park (420)

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, so when a large amount of scaffolding goes up against one of the most famous walls in Bristol what do you do?… well you simply work between the uprights like Zake has done with this small piece.

Zake, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2021
Zake, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2021

Zake is another artist who has been reasonably quiet over the last year, but has been painting just enough to ensure we don’t forget about him. The piece painted here is necessarily tall and thin to fit into a space between the scaffolding uprights. A very nice piece full of character and a rather fetching Victorian stiff collar. Great to see Zake getting really busy again with this being one of several new pieces.