The Pirate Wall Art (PWA) crew have already produced some outstanding collaborations this year, but this surely has to be the most striking so far. Zake, Chill and Face 1st have teamed up to produce this triptych of stylised faces.
To the left is a curious pair of faces which feel like they are symbolic of something, but I am not quite sure what – sun and moon or light and dark? Who knows. The flower face is something new that I haven’t seen from Zake before, but he carries it off really well.
In the middle of the triptych is a cartoon face by Chill. When Chill moved away from his black and white pieces, I wasn’t sure how long it would last, but I am pleased to say that his inclusion of several colours once again might indicate that this is a new direction of travel for the artist. I love the inclusion of some greenery and flowers in most of his pieces, showing a sensitive connection with nature.
To the right, Face first has painted another group of faces, in which he continues to explore ways of peeling back the layers of our facades to reveal what lies beneath. In this case, the face with yellow hair has been split open to reveal a laughing girl emerging from inside. Some might see these pieces as gory or grotesque, I see them as a joyful exploration of emotions unearthed in a rather surgical, but playful way.
Plenty to think and enjoy about in this fine PWA collaboration.
I have said in recent posts featuring Zake that his work is getting ever more adventurous and zany, well this piece on the M32 roundabout pretty much supports my assertion. This is Zake pushing boundaries and having fun.
This piece was painted as part of a PWA crew paint jam, and combining with the crew has certainly nudged his work along, perhaps being inspired and encouraged by his friends. The face is huge and green and slightly unsettling, due to the absence of pupils. Zake’s mastery of light and shade conveys real depth and creates definition of features. This is an excellent character portrait from Zake – where to next for this artist? Whole bodies? Photorealism?
Given that Zake is knocking out his stylised face pieces at an alarming rate at the moment, there is a strong likelihood that you’ll be seeing lots of his work on Natural Adventures. For example, this is the third piece I have featured here since the start of the month.
This glorious face, especially impactful due to the black background, was painted over one of his previous pieces, and this is a spot particularly favoured by PWA artists. Zake is using his specialist skills, when it comes to light and shadow, to create great depth and exaggerated features in this smiling character’s face. Beautifully done and definitely memorable.
I love the irrepressible nature of Bristol street artists. There has been a bit of a war on this wall recently, with Bristol City Council buffing the wall with grey paint, only to be painted over moments later by artists and writers. For goodness’ sake, BCC, make this a legal wall and save your (our) money. Two of Bristol’s best character artists, Zake and Chill, have combined to decorate this wall, and have absolutely smashed it.
I go away for a couple of days, and what happens? This audacious piece appears, to engage and entertain passers-by. Zake has been on fire recently, and is arguably the busiest artist in town. His portraits are becoming more expressive and adventurous with each outing. Watching his work develop is one of the great pleasures of what I do.
Chill has also now become firmly established in the Bristol scene, which doesn’t equate to him being establishment (just in case you were wondering). In this piece, Chill is continuing his experimentation with colour, instead of presenting us with the black and white we are more accustomed to seeing. I think the colours are working, although it takes a little bit of getting used to. What a wonderwall from these PWA artists.
I wonder sometimes whether Zake gets the credit he deserves, for the sheer volume of work he gets through and the variety of locations and walls he paints. Sometimes he paints with friends and sometimes alone, but wherever you look in Bristol, there is never a Zake piece far away.
I remember that the first Zake pieces I became aware of were on columns under the M32 at the skate spot there. How far he has come since then in developing and refining his style. This column piece showcases perfectly his use of shading to create enormous depth. It is extraordinary how deep the mouth appears to be, and what folds of skin on the chin, cheeks and eyes. This is a really classy column piece from Zake.
Every time I visit Greenbank, it seems that the long wall of hoardings gets shorter. Soon, as the major housing development nears completion, this spot will cease to exist and there will be only our memories and photographs left to remind us of what a superb spot for graffiti writing and street art this has been.
Right up there with my fondest recollections will be the regular PWA paint jams, of which this piece by Zake is a part of the latest. Zake has recently taken his work up a level or two, with some much more adventurous character portraits than he was painting 18 months ago. This skull in a hood draws on his strengths of using light and shade to create texture and depth. This is a really striking and memorable piece from Zake.
The Pirate Wall Art (PWA) crew have had a fantastic year, as individuals and as collaborators, creating some of the most memorable pieces in Bristol, and this one at the entrance of St Werburghs tunnel is as memorable as any.
The trio of Face 1st, Soap and Zake have created this fun piece, with Face 1st and Soap propping up a frog by Zake. Everything you’d want to see from these three is here, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.
I love it when artists get busy, and Zake has been super-busy of late. It is incredible how versatile he has become over the last few years, sticking to his roots of stylised portrait work, but expanding his repertoire of characters immeasurably.
This piece was painted as part of a trio alongside Daz Cat and Kool Hand in the St Agnes subway under the M32 roundabout. The rather weird character is all teeth and no hair, and judging from the blood vessel on his neck appears to be a little vexed about something. A really nice piece from Zake, who is pushing the boundaries with increasing frequency.
How has it taken me so long to post one hundred pieces from my beloved Moon Street? I guess, in recent years, painting here has reduced as the gentrification of the area has taken a grip, and so it is not so much of a graffiti destination, with artists preferring St Werburghs, Bedminster, St Paul’s or the River Avon. However, we do stopill get some beauties down there, including this very Zake, Zake character piece.
The rather disturbing face, exaggerated by its asymmetry, is arresting to say the very least. A slight reversion to his early form of portrait, his strengths come to the fore, especially his use of shading and highlights to create depth of features on the face. A worthy piece for my one hundredth Moon Street post.
I should know by now, not to bother with going down to Sparke Evans Park and the River Avon on sunny days. The results are always patchy at best. But there is another school of thought that says always photograph what you can when you see it, because it might not be there the next time you visit. I don’t know if this lovely portrait piece by Zake falls into that category, as I haven’t been back to take a look.
Zake has been enjoying himself recently with these rather more cartoon style pieces that still contain his mastery of light and shade, but have introduced a little bit more in terms of character and emotion. This is a fabulous piece painted alongside PWA crew mates.