Rowdy CCTV camera at The Looking Glass

1 03 2013

Shouldn’t CCTV cameras be there to protect against graffiti? Not in Bristol, where the camera outside The Looking Glass has been given a makeover by Rowdy, last seen on these pages painting on the snow in Totterdown. His trademark crocodile is here, looking towards the direction of Castle Park:

Rowdy CCTV camera

Graffiti on snow in Totterdown

20 01 2013

These three new pieces of graffiti in Totterdown might already have disappeared by the time you read this. Not because they have been painted over, but because what they have been painted on has melted. Each piece was painted on snow especially compacted into shape for each artwork.

The photos below don’t do it justice, but the eye even bulges out of the triangular piece of snow. And the crocodile’s spikes almost stretch to the Asian Garden takeaway.

Snow graffiti in TotterdownLettering by Mr Riks

Snow graffiti in TotterdownEye by Haka

Snow graffiti in TotterdownCrocodile by Rowdy

Snow graffiti in TotterdownHaka and Mr Riks

Thanks to Justin Staple from Bristol Street Art for identifying the artists.

Bristol artists paint baby faces on London street shop shutters to deter vandals

14 08 2012

As some of the best graffiti artists from the UK and across the world come to Bristol for See No Evil all this week, artists’ collective The Paintsmiths of Bristol travelled to London to paint a street in Woolwich as part of a psychological experiment by advertising agency Ogilvy.

Shop shutters in the street have been painted with babies’ faces to help rejuvinate the area after last year’s riots, and also to support the theory that such images can have a calming effect.

‘A multitude of talentless taggers’

9 06 2012

A former Conservative leader on Bristol City Council has fulfilled all of his party’s stereotypes for old-fashioned fuddy-duddyness by claiming that the ruling Liberal Democrat administration has become “fixated upon street art” to the detriment of the city’s prosperity.

“Sadly, for every Banksy in this world, there is a multitude of talentless taggers,” said Richard Eddy (right), golliwog fan and Conservative councillor for Bishopsworth, in questions tabled for this month’s cabinet meeting.

“This questionable art form is even being proposed as part of a £100,000 make-over for other parts of Bedminster under the Portas Pilots initiative. We need to know what sort of consultation has or will take place over using yet more money for this purpose.

“I am concerned that the Lib Dems seem to have become fixated upon street art as some kind of magic bullet to solve our urban ills and provide a quick fix to economic regeneration.

“Of course, in reality, I suspect much of this wall-to-wall graffiti will age very quickly and lend an impoverished aspect to most of the areas it has permanently infiltrated.

“I intend to find out where this policy of council collusion is taking us and whether in fact the present administration is hell-bent on turning Bristol into the graffiti capital of Europe.”

Eddy may be incorrect in that last assumption, because last year’s See No Evil on Nelson Street and last week’s Upfest on North Street proved that Bristol is already the graffiti capital of Europe.

I share a small bit of sympathy for Eddy’s views, as not every work that I saw on North Street after Upfest will be to everybody’s tastes. But then, that’s art. Opening in the Hayward Gallery on London’s South Bank next week is an exhibition called Invisible, featuring blank canvasses, and just that.

A spot of colour is better than nothing. Just take a look at these before and after photos from See No Evil, as a drab and concrete thoroughfare was turned into a vibrant and colourful outdoor art gallery, which still attracts many people with cameras every day almost a year after artists took over the street.

Eddy’s comments are ill-judged and misinformed. It’s almost as if there was a mayoral election coming up and he wants to garner himself a few much-needed column inches.

Pop-UpFest gallery opens in Cabot Circus

10 11 2011

Suebo the Wow Gorilla made a special guest appearance last night at the official launch of UpFest’s temporary Christmas urban art gallery in Cabot Circus. Pop-UpFest is the one-off extension of UpFest’s permanent home on North Street, Bedminster, close to where Suebo, painted by Bristol graffiti artist Cheo, was positioned over the summer.

Among the works by Cheo and other Bristol artists including Inkie, one of the driving forces behind the See No Evil event on Nelson Street, there was some live drawing on the window of the gallery by Andy Council.

Suebo will be in pride of place in the gallery, next door but one to Starbucks on the top floor of the shopping centre, opposite Jungle Rumble, for the next two weeks.

The Pop-UpFest gallery is open until Christmas Eve, with books and photographs available to buy alongside the canvasses, with prices ranging from £10 to £1,500. /

See No Evil documentary short released

5 10 2011

A documentary looking at Bristol’s very own See No Evil project on Nelson Street and the rise of the global street art movement has been released by Hurricane Media. ‘Who’s Lenny?’ was premiered at the Watershed earlier this week and is now available to watch on YouTube:

M32 graffiti

17 05 2011

There are many areas of Bristol that have become legal areas for graffiti artists to practise their skills. The streets of Stokes Croft are the obvious example, but there is also a great spot in the St Werburgh’s tunnel and a wall in Riverside Park by the start of the M32, where these examples below were photographed yesterday:

Inkie solo show

6 12 2010

The first ever Bristol solo show by Inkie is currently taking place at the Bank of Stokes Croft. The show is a look back at the 25-year career of Inkie, covering his graffiti work, his Ink Nouveau ladies (example below), t-shirt graphics and selected old and new design and print works from the period 1985 to 2010.

Inkie was brought up in Bristol, but is now an adopted Londoner where he has been head of creative design at Sega.

Talking to Soma Soma Scene, he had this to say about how he was in part influenced by his former surroundings: “Bristol is a beautiful Georgian city with a very creative outlook/attitude tucked away from the rest of UK and has a lot of good cider, weed and mushrooms. That helped.

“The styles used in graffiti are everywhere from street signs to plants to ancient temples. The key is to combine all of these mentally and freestyle your ideas out in your design.”

25 Years of Ink, presented by Flying Eyeball and Weapon of Choice Gallery, is at the Bank of Stokes Croft until December 12.

Hotwell Road graffiti

19 08 2010

These two pieces of street art next to Brandon Tool Hire on Hotwell Road have always caught my eye, so here they are up close. The two sillhoueted characters are by the Dutch artist Fake, while Gandi’s portrait has the tag Seifrei stencilled underneath.

Hillgrove Street wave

14 01 2010

I’ve been meaning to put this photo up for a while, probably my current favourite bit of street art in Stokes Croft, an area of Bristol which is like an ever-changing outdoor art gallery.

For the latest goings-on in Bristol’s graffiti scene, visit the Bristol Graffiti blog.