Category Archives: Epok

Matryoshka Army Photos

If you’re in town for Upfest, it’s worth wandering along to see this too given it’s not a million miles away. The Matyroshka Army exhibition at 35 King Street, a load of different artists painting a set of 5 russian dolls as part of the Bristol design festival.

Here’s some photos of the relevant ones to the blog for those as can’t make it.

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Filed under 3Dom, Bristol, Cheo, Epok, Flx, Haka, Lokey, Mr Jago, Nikill, Poer, Sepr

June Events Roundup

Really loads of events coming up over the next few days if you fancy it, so here’s a bit of a round up…

prsc banner

Starting with tonight (Thursday), you’ve got the dutch auction being run by PRSC closing. Sounds like there are stil some pieces available at bargain basement prices, so get down to their Jamaica Street gaff to see what you can pick up.

poster-show-low

Tomorrow night, if you’re in Bristol, you could do worse than wander along to check out the Bristol Design Festival, lots of designy stuff going on obviously, but the matryoshka army project is interesting. Lots of those russian dolls that fit into each other, painted by the following folk.

Mr Jago, FLX, Goer, Epok, Sepr, Cheba, Afeks, Hakah, Lobb, Zesk, Sarah Jane, Zier, Dora, Heidi Gough, Tom Albinal, Lokey, Iria, Jedi, Lauren Millington, Nik Ill, Daddison, Millie Gleeson, Cheo, 3Dom, Poer

Possibly by some accounts meant to be opening down at the Old Fire Station on Friday, but their blog seems to say that there might actually be an opening of them down at 35 King Street (near the Old Duke) tonight too. Actually, the blog seems to say the dolls part of the show will be at 35 King Street the whole time. And also at the Old Fire Station. Who knows. Our money’s on this one being at the King Street address. The design festival itself is definitely at the Old Fire Station though.

meeting of styles

If you’re closer to London, also starting on Friday is a really good looking event, End of the Line presents Meeting of Styles. Tons of writers, tons of tunes, all over by Brick Lane in trendy Shoreditch. Here’s the lineup;

Nash, Does, Biser, Wany, Aryz, Heat, Nychos, Bird, Inkie, Probs, Zomby, Tizer, Zadok, Bleach, Bonzai, Insa, Solo, Busk, Twesh, Odisie, Roid, Snug, Skore, Aztek, Ekto, Sune, Xenz, Izer, Are, Stika, Teck, Rabodiga, Vibes, Town, Chrome, Intro, Replete, Cheo, Soker, Casm, Wisher, Jive, Sorn, Noir, Urge, Keen, Pryme, Mac1, Krah, Sick IR, Sares, Cosh, Jasik, Alfa, Relay, Pref, Mau Mau, Shok, Skire, Ebzke, Amuk.

They’re all over the web with info, so check out their blog if you want to know more. Epic.

Incidentally, if you’re in London, Rowdy’s show opened last night, and seems to have been promoted by a pretty cool van touring the city sometime recently.

rowdy croc van
rowdy van 2

upfest logo

Of course though, the big one if you’re in Bristol this weekend is Upfest. Massive lineup from all sorts of styles and backgrounds, should be packed out. They’ve got a really nice website too, so check that out for all the info.

POsterstartv2 copy.indd

Looking a bit further ahead, the Friend and Co Gallery are heading south of the river for a bit for a big show down at the Spotted Cow in Bedminster on the 11th of June. The line up for it so far includes;

Acerone, Andy Council, China Mike, Eko, Faris Badwan, French, Inkie, Mr Jago, Mudwig, Paris, Pinky, Richt, Sainty, Sickboy, 45rpm

and there’s more info on their blog.

woc image

Also opening this month is the next Weapon of Choice Gallery group show, with the current show closing this Sunday. The gallery’s looking really good, and the next show looks like another top lineup.

Weapon of Choice Gallery’s 2nd installment of some of Bristol & the UK’s finest.

Saturday 13th June 5-10pm. Free entry
Exhibition runs until the Sunday 5th July 2009

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14 St Michael’s Hill Bristol BS2 8DT
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Artists include:
3dom
Ben Normanton
Cheo
Dirty 30 (Brighton)
Dylan Shipley
Haka
Inkie
Jody
Jonathan Farr
Julian Kimmings
King Audel (france)
Lokey
Lorenzo
Mick Hockney
Nikill
Shades
Si2 (Hull)
Soker
Rory Doona
Turroe + special guest?

http://weaponofchoicegallery.blogspot.com

http://www.weaponofchoicegallery.co.uk

Facebook event:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=106357456857&ref=mf

They’ve also got a colouring book coming out by Cheo in September it seems, sounds like a perfect bit of early xmas shopping if you know any little people, or little people who’ve since got big.

Last thing for this month so far, there’s strong talk going round of Glostonbury happening again later this month up at the Golden Lion on the Gloucester Road. Last year looked like a large one, sounds like the same’s being lined up again.

Oh yeah, and Banksy‘s got a show coming up too.

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Filed under 3Dom, 45 RPM, Abroad, Acerone, Andy Council, Banksy, Bristol, Busk, Cheba, Cheo, China Mike, Dora, Eco, Epok, Flx, Haka, Inkie, Jody, Lokey, Mr Jago, Nikill, Poer, Rowdy, Sainty, Sepr, Sickboy, Soker, Turoe, Xenz, Zesk

Sunrise Celebration Gets A Paint Job

Fun festival Sunrise Celebration, bit hippyish, but a top vibe with tons of friendly folk. The lineup and programme seem to go out of the window at the start, but amongst the arrangements a bunch of Bristol artists had been talked into the difficult task of painting in the glorious countryside on a sunny weekend with good music and cider.

Three different sets of painting went on over the weekend, well, sort of four, but here’s the first. Sepr, Epok, Tarqs and Silent Hobo painting up by the Chai Wallahs tent.

One of those festivals where it’s all a bit DIY, so first things first, get the boards painted and attached to a fence.

sunrise friday 1

Baking hot afternoon, Sepr’s up first to mark out a character.

sunrise friday 2

Bit later on, Sepr, Tarqs and Silent Hobo are making good progress.

sunrise friday 3

As the shadows begin to draw longer, Epok’s been in and got his piece done too.

sunrise friday 4

Looked great in the evening sunshine, even if the boards went a bit warpy in the heat.

sunrise friday 5

Bit closer on the finished thing.

sunrise friday 6

Next, day 2!

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Filed under Abroad, Epok, Sepr, Silent Hobo, Tarq's

New Stokes Croft Bits

Still lots going on down Cheltenham Road/Stokes Croft way of late. First up, this new KTF work where the Cyclops had been for a fair while. Done last weekend, so a week old now.

ktf-stokes-croft-long

Closer upper.

ktf-close-up

Just round the corner, these have appeared on the corner of Ashley Road. Haven’t seen any new Sickboy temples appear in Bristol for ages now, good to see them back.

sickboy-temples-at-end-of-ashley-road

‘Voting yes’…

sickboy-temple-left-jan-09

…and ‘voting no’.

sickboy-temple-right-jan-09

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Filed under Bristol, Epok, Haka, KTF, Mr Riks, Poer, Sepr, Sickboy

Children Of The Can – The Weekend’s Painting

Getting to this one a little late annoyingly, but can’t be helped. Was, by all accounts, freezing down there over the weekend when the painting was going on, but everyone seemed to have fun.

So, as mentioned before, to go with the launch of ‘Children of the Can‘, Felix pulled off a bit of a coup and got it arranged to paint the boards outside the current industrial museum redevelopment, boards people had been eying enviously since the Bristol Festival and before.

The piece as a whole is a timeline of Bristol Graf, from some of the first writers to some of the most recent ones, with some people painting (with a spray can at least) for the first time in ages.

Annoyingly, with all the boats now moored up, presumably for the winter, it’s hard to get a good view of the whole thing from across the river.

long-shot

Still though, starting from the far left as you look at it, it kinda builds up with some random pieces…

random

…an initial Paris…

paris

…and accompanying Milk.

milk

This is sweet, done by Joe i guess.

joe-presumably

Not strictly keeping to the timeline, which should start here, Andy Council. Although the piece hints back to the early days of graf in a way doesn’t it.

andy-council

Next up Cheba with one of his Brunel characters.

cheba

The man behind today’s events, Flx, with some top work.

flx

Inkie couldn’t make it down for the weekend, but should be getting his piece up later in the week.

inkie-space

Back to the old skool, Source.

source

Next to Kato writing ‘ASK’. What can it mean? You may well ask.

kato

Side by side, Turroe and Shimz, don’t see enough of their work round still.

turroe-and-shimz

Closer on Turroe…

turroe

…likewise Shimz, really like them both.

shimz

First time Jody’s painted with a spray can for 18 years apparently. Damn shame, the man’s a legend (check his work in the Children of the Can book too for more).

jody

Lokey on fine form as ever, with a firm understanding of web marketing to boot!

lokey

Teaoh next to…

teaoh

…Cheo, with Deed in the middle there.

cheo

Unfortunate really that the first painting done on these boards a few months back was done right in the middle, as it breaks up the flow of the timeline a bit. Still though, 3rd Eye’s work’s tidy…

3rd-eye

…and kinda cool to see a bunch of random kids right in the middle of all this work.

previous-project-stuff

This one raised a smile, Pen and Boswell on typically dark form…

pen-and-boswell

…with a sign right by them titled ‘My Perfect Bristol’. Wonder if the placing was deliberate.

my-perfect-bristol

Dicy made it down in the end, also writing ASK, with a reference in there to Poppa Acer too!

dicy-ask1

Soker and Feek working together again…

soker-and-feek-together

…love the names intertwined (though can’t confess to having spotted that initially…)

soker-and-feek

Feek with the character again, All Suckers Krushed.

feek-character

Rounding it off, Ponk on the end.

ponk

Next along another slot for Paris…

paris-2

And Milk next door (with a birthday shout to Acer, a whole lot of love going on).

milk-2

Sepr, Epok and Kaione put together a huge piece, only finished off yesterday. This is the left…

sepr-epok-and-kaione-left

…and this the right.

sepr-epok-kaione-right

Rowdy with what looks like some kinda wordsearch, love it.

rowdy

45RPM representing for the WHAT lot this weekend.

45rpm

Not entirely sure this was meant to be there, Song on a slot marked out for Seza.

song

Good to see Magic, Voyder and 3Dom all getting out together at the same time on this one…

magic-voyderand-3dom

…close up on Magic and Voyder…

magic-and-voyder

…with some top work by 3Dom at the other end.

3dom

Haker doing his own thing a bit further down.

haka

And finally, rounding it off right at the end, a space put aside for the next next generation…

new-people-wall

…including Prankz, keener than mustard.

pranks

All told, the length of board is bloody huge, runs right down to that crane at the end there, and this photo wasn’t even taken right from the other end.

long-shot-boards

So, some bits still to be finished off, and a timeline to be added over the top of it all as well. It should all hopefully be there for a while, and there’s talk of more jams going on there at some point in the future. About bloody time, and all credit to Felix for sorting it out in amongst everything else that must be going on at the moment.

Go and check it all out, and once again, if you haven’t bought the book yet, then do!

(Props to Lokey for the guided tour for this post too!)

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Filed under 3Dom, 45 RPM, Acer, Andy Council, Boswell, Bristol, Cato, Cheba, Cheo, Dicy, Epok, Feek, Flx, Haka, Inkie, Kaione, Lokey, Magic, Milk, Paris, Pen, Ponk, Rowdy, Sepr, Soka, Song, Uncategorized, Voyder

Not Just Banksy Night

not-just-banksy

So, back from the Not Just Banksy night up at UWE’s Frenchay Campus. Wicked night, loads going on, if a little a victim of social marketing. Facebook numbers don’t translate to real life that often sadly. Still though, top crowd in a tough location, take this down the centre and you’d be on a winner.

Got there a little later than expected, to find Nikill at work on the Weapon of Choice wall.

nikill-1

A broader shot of the painting, Nikill, Boswell and Inkie from right to left, with the Art Tart in front of them. Weird.

not-just-banksy-1

The Art Tart was drawing a picture of them all drawing a picture, painfully postmodern, but pretty darn funny, and not that bad a picture as it happens either.

inkie-and-art-tart1

Inkie’s piece part way through.

inkie-partial

The evening was full of various other things, this was a showing of the ‘Tags to Riches’ documentary.

tags-to-riches

Inkie and Boswell at work, Boswell’s piece was bonkers, a simple sketch turned into something seemingly so well planned. Skills.

boswell-inkie

Lokey, Cheba and Nikill on their piece.

lkey-nikill-cheba

Another interlude, Felix giving a talk about his book (now just weeks away). Top talk, fascinating historical take on the whole graf thing, and got into a proper debate at the end. Was amused to wander outside afterwards and hear students debating it – “Yeah, but graffiti’s just a necessary and inevitable symptom of our capitalist society”.

I kid you not.

felix-and-children-of-the-can

Nikill and Cheba getting towards the end of the collaborative piece.

nikil-cheba

Inkie’s piece finished.

inkie-finished

Next to Boswell’s

inkie-boswell-finished

This was a nice touch, short biographies of various artists posted up around the venue, good idea.

biog-posters

All the pieces finished, really good work, interesting to see what happens when people have more space and calm that at Weapon of Choice.

finished-pieces

The finished Art Tart piece of the pieces as well

art-tart-finished

This piece was up in all its glory finally too, done for the fresher’s fair at UWE last year. Feek, Seza and Sickboy. Bloody huge it is.

big-piece-whole

Feek’s side…

feek

…with Seza in the middle…

seza

…and Sickboy at the other end.

sickboy

So, wasn’t just the stuff in the evening in the bar, there’d been loads of painting going on outside during the day too.  Billy Stencils at this end…

outside-1

…next to a pretty good piece…

piece

and another here.

pice-2

Inkie’s piece out here was sick.

inkie-awesome

Next to Cheba, Lokey and Nikill, this time with the spray paint and colour.

inkie-cheba-lokey

More Billy Stencil and some work by a UWE student.

logical-1-et-al

Sepr had been here painting in the day too, shame he wasn’t there in the evening too.

sepr-epok

Ryda and Reaf there too which was as cool as it wasn’t on the bill.

ryda-reaf

This was really tidy though. You know when you can sense from a piece that the people in it are really putting everything into it, well, got that from this one, a burner from a collective of UWE students.

uwe-burner

On the other hand, the Art Tart outside. It’s not up to this blog to claim that someone’s biting someone else’s work, least of all Nick Walkers.

art-tart-outside

But there you are.

art-tart-outside-1

Top night though, organisers had noticeably put a huge amount of work into planning and running it, and had brought in a really friendly crowd, so should be run again really, perhaps somewhere a little more accessible.

Would save a bus journey home with UWE Freshers throwing up all over bus seats for one.

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Filed under Boswell, Bristol, Cheba, Dicy, Epok, Feek, Flx, Inkie, Lokey, Nick Walker, Nickill, Seza, Sickboy

Not Just Banksy Event At UWE – Today And Tonight!

not-just-banksy-event-image

Time’s positively flow, and after a huge amount of hard work and preparation, the ‘Not Just Banksy‘ event up at UWE’s Frenchay Campus is on today.

There’s loads going on up there, live painting wise there’s going to be a good mix of Bristol linked/WoC artists, along with some painters from UWE. The full line up is;

Bristol

Inkie
The Art Tart
Cheba
Nikill
Lokey
Sepr
Epok plus others…

UWE

Kitt
Clean1
Tribe One
Stove
Gedi
Goer

Painting during the day and into the evening, with lots of other stuff going along too. The programme of events looks like this;

Daytime: Midday to 5pm
Live painting outside but undercover
Escape Bar Patio (next to main reception)

The artists will be undercover and there’s lot of undercover space for you to view from, so don’t be put off if the weather isn’t great.

Evening: 5.30pm to 11.30pm
Talks, DJs, & Live Painting
Red Bar (above the Escape Bar)

6pm – People’s Republic of Stokes Croft
Short talk about the PRSC activities

7pm – Tags to Riches
Bristol based documentary

8pm – Felix Braun – Children of the Can
Talk by author of the history of Bristol graffiti.

Live painting and Old Skool and hip hop DJs throughout the evening.

Finish 11.30pm

So, top stuff, if you’re lucky enough to be a student layabout, why not go and sit in a bar all day watching some live painting? If you’re not, go along in the evening and play catch up, it should be great.

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Filed under Bristol, Cheba, Epok, Inkie, Lokey, Nickill, Sepr, Tribeone

Children Of The Can Preview And Interview With Felix Braun

It’s been a fair while in the writing, and in a way has needed to be written for even longer, but in just a few weeks Felix ‘FLX’ Braun’s book, ‘Children of the Can – 25 Years of Bristol Graffiti’, will be published. Happily, this blog’s been given a sneak preview, and it really is awesome.

So, the basics. It’s 288 pages, hardback cover and a big thing too, something like 50cm across when opened out, so the photos (and there are around 1000 of them, nearly all full colour) are there in a quality you’re just not going to see anywhere else. More important in a way, with such a long history in the Bristol Scene, Felix has had access to some pretty choice photos from the personal collections of people like Banksy, Nick Walker and John Nation amongst many others, so the content ranges right back to the start of it all, and the vast majority has never been seen before.

Still though, this book’s not just a coffee table book like so many others, indeed that’s kind of the point behind it, as over many months Felix has spent time with over over 40 different Bristol graffiti artists, talking to them about everything from their work to the scene as it was then and is now. As a result, the book’s a proper and coherent history of the last 25 years of Bristol graffiti, where it came from, the stages it went through, right up to what it is today. Each interview hangs together as a coherent chapter, but together they’re woven together perfectly to create the overall narrative of this part of the city’s history.

It’s all too easy to say Bristol’s a great place for graffiti or street art, but reading the book it really hits you how genuinely great it is, how the Bristol graffiti is at the end of the day united by difference, how all the different artists have done so many different things over the years, followed different styles, yet all within the same area, often at the same time.

So, in a change from the previous few months, it seemed time to turn the tables and interview Felix himself about the book, it’s writing and the Bristol graffiti scene generally. Thinking he’d got the model pretty right in researching the book, what follows is the result of a chat in a pub over pints, mixed in with some exclusive snaps from the book itself…

Bristol Graffiti: So, let’s start at the start then, what it’s all about?

Felix Braun: Well, it’s a 25 year history really, written by an artist that’s still painting. I had wanted to write the book for a while, but it all started thanks to Cheba, who introduced me to his boss, Richard Jones from Tangent Books, when we were painting together at the Bristol launch of ‘Banksy’s Bristol – Home Sweet Home’ at the Apple (blogged here at the time). Tangent Books have helped me realise my original vision of it, (although i probably would have liked to have added an extra 32 pages), but they’ve stuck with me, stuck with it, and it’s grown. It was originally going to be much smaller, originally i had plans for 12 artists to be interviewed, but ended up interviewing 41.

BG: – It’s interesting it’s finally happened, as I’ve heard various people over time wondering who’s actually going to be the one to write a proper book on all of this.

FB: – Yeah, that’s the other important thing, I wanted all this to be documented, and that’s the other meaning of the book’s title, it’s for the kids of the artists to grow up and read it and have a record of what their dad or whoever did. It’s like 3D said when i interviewed him ‘How many people are lucky enough to have a book made about the best years of their lives?’ It’s a privilege, and this book in a way is like my little gift back to all the people that I grew up with and I painted with, and for those following on from them too.

Inkie outlining at the 1989 World Graffiti Championships in 1989 (pic by Scarce)

BG: – So how’s it been, writing a book? Enjoyable?

FB: – Yeah. At Times. It was really really hard work, but an amazing insight, there was a lot of stuff I didn’t know actually, because I had 10 years out myself. I went off to college, got into making music and so on, and didn’t start again until the time of Walls on Fire, in 1998.

BG: – Did you stop painting because of Operation Anderson and all that went with it then?

FB: – No, not really, I’d stopped illegal painting by then anyway. It was because I was into other things. The book was a chance to fill in the gaps in my own memory, and through it I’ve made so many friends, getting to know other writers and getting inside people’s heads. Like with TNP for example, it took me months and months and months to get them to speak to me, and it was done under very strict conditions, because people who are out there hitting trains have got so much more to lose than someone who’s moved up to London now and is out there doing prints and doing gallery shows. My status as a writer has allowed me unprecedented access into people’s lives, and it’s also added to my understanding of the mindset and what motivates it.

Also being older, and looking back and seeing more the socio-political context in that sense, that’s kinda allowed me to be in a position to make some informed comment on graffiti and what it means, why it’s important, why it needs to carry on happening, and why cities shouldn’t be clean. At the end of Rowdy’s chapter, he says ‘when you’ve got no tags, then you’ve got to worry, because you’re looking at some kind of Orwellian sort of city’. Graffiti’s a sign that a city’s healthy, and that it’s got its own mind.

That’s why people of a certain sort of mind start to notice it, the more colourful and artistic it gets, the more it wins people over, and therefore hopefully there are people who are going to read this book who know nothing about graffiti, and it will be their introduction to it. They might live in a city and  start to understand through this book why people do it.

BG: How was it, tracking down and interviewing all these different writers and artists?

FB: Some people took longer to track down than others, some people answered their own questions before I’d even asked them, but most of them were really good fun, and like a night out really. It was great hanging out with people I didn’t necessarily know that well before I started interviewing them, but I certainly got to know them better by the end. I got really wrecked with certain people, and was having to listen back to recordings of interviews over pub clamour, rewinding it over and over again the next day to transcribe quotes. For me, the biggest challenge was the transcribing, and then editing 12,500 words of interview into 2000 words of chapter. Being a two finger typist, transcribing all of it was a mission.

Some of the unseen Banksy photos in the book

BG: Is there stuff you’ve left out, deliberately or because you’ve had to?

FB: I’ve left out references to beef, to arguments, because I think that the infighting between graffiti artists is only interesting to graffiti artists, and probably then not even to half of them. I think what people have in common, and what’s provided a thread throughout the whole story of the scene, is much more interesting than people’s differences. I mean, those that know will know, it’s coded but it’s in there, there are certain photographs of certain people’s pieces over certain other people’s pieces that those around then will spot, but it’s not really relevant or interesting to most people.

Apart from that the book’s completely and utterly no holds barred. There’s lots of swearing, it’s not appropriate for children, there’s some fairly grizzly anecdotes. There’s drugs and violence and agony and ecstasy, and there are some people who’ve written their own pieces about very very difficult times in their lives, with the art more there as a background to it.

BG: – Is there anyone you missed out, anyone you wish you could have got hold of?

FB: Well, no, but Andy Council said that he didn’t really want a spread, and he’s done so much good stuff in the last year or two, and before that too, but there’s been so much good recent stuff, that I really wish that i’d been able to find another couple of extra pages for him. It would have been great to have given him more space, he’s a great guy, and a great artist, and I think he stems from the same root as the rest of us.

Apart from Andy, I’d have liked to have had sections just of tags, just of dubs and throw ups, just sign offs, dedications and the like. That was in the original plan, and it’s ended up more as chapters on artists, and I think that a lot of people have missed out as a result of that, people who aren’t necessarily hugely prolific, but have made an impact. But you can’t cover everyone, and I know that I’m going to get grief for omissions and I’m ready for it.

BG: So the book’s about the last 25 years, what do you think’s going to happen in the next 25 years?

FB: In the short term, when the bubble bursts, and people stop looking at graffiti or street art (or whatever you want to call it) for the wrong reasons – for money or as an investment – then there will be a reassessment of what ‘real’ graffiti has done to explore the role of type and the letter form as an icon in art. We might start getting real graffiti recognised as fine art rather than having to compromise, well not compromise, mutate. I think at the end of the day graffiti will carry on, it’s been going on for thousands of years. Visually, who’s to say? I think if I could predict what it would look like it would be quite boring. Infinite possibilities…

Chaos painting at Barton Hill Youth Club 1990 (pic by John Nation)

BG: Do you think the book itself might have an impact on the graffiti scene in the future?

FB:  Well, the book’s there to open up a treasure chest, and if it encourages the next generation to go out and paint, then great. If people say to me the book encourages illegal graffiti, then I’d say yes, it does encourage illegal graffiti, come back and talk to me when you’ve stopped war and violent crime, and then we’ll talk about how serious a crime grafiti is. Anyone who wants to come and talk about this, i’ll debate with them face to face on the subject, because I think it’s futile the way they police it.

BG: Do you think things have changed, that graffiti is more accepted now than it was before?

FB: Yeah, definitely, but at the same time there’s a double standard, a contradiction within the council, where certain people’s work will remain intact, because it attracts people to the city, in the same way as Massive Attack or Roni Size or Tricky have perpetuated people’s idea of Bristol and brought in students and money and so on. The council are aware of these things, but they don’t ever do anything to support it whilst it’s happening. On the continent there’s an understanding of graffiti as an artform that Bristol City Council doesn’t have. The city hasn’t got a graffiti problem, the council’s got a problem with graffiti. Go and look at places like Sao Paulo in Brazil and then come and talk about Bristol having a graffiti problem. There are bigger things to prioritise, bigger problems the city’s got right now.

BG: So the law on graffiti is out of date now?

FB: Yeah, it is. Because it’s a visual crime, graffiti is an easy target. If you go and wipe out all the graffiti, it’s a very easy way of saying you’re reducing crime, whilst if people are sitting in their homes taking drugs then it’s seen as less of a problem. It’s ridiculous, and there’s a real problem, a contradiction in it all. Because of the nature of the art, you can’t wipe out the illegal aspect and leave the legal aspect, because then it becomes sterile, and graffiti on canvasses isn’t graffiti, it’s graffiti-style art on a canvas. When it loses that energy, when it loses that street style vibe, then where does it go? So there’s always going to be that contradiction, and if it didn’t have something to rail against, then it wouldn’t be what it is.

BG: It evolves over time too doesn’t it, punk initially was one form of rebellion, but then other forms of music grew from that.

FB: Yeah totally, that’s something that 3D says in his piece, that it was this new kind of rebellion that was more fun, less po faced than punk. You had a whole load of subcultures around that time when it all started that were very serious and po faced. Then hip hop came along and was rebellious, but it was also a great laugh, it was about partying and having a good time and colour and dance and movement and sound. That’s why graffiti writers are basically big kids, because they like hanging out and painting pretty things on a wall, you know, hanging out in a gang with their friends that they call a crew.

‘It’s no great crime’ by 3D in 1983 (pic by Beezer)

BG:  I was talking to a graffiti writer a while back who was excited to go and see the Marcel Duchamp exhibition when it was in London, which isn’t necessarily the first thing you’d expect from someone who does graffiti. Do you think the wider art scene, fine art so on, has had an influence on the graffiti scene?

FB: Yeah, of course it has, because when graffiti started in Bristol, it was just teenage kids. Then as the art form grew up, you had people coming into it who grew up and went to art college and brought outside influences into it from other places. Especially the TCF, who brought a completely different dynamic to it all in Bristol, because they were coming from an art school background, and i think that’s great, it’s benefitted it no end artistically. Because if it’s self referencing all the time, it gets stale. I love the old stuff, but at the same time, I love the typographic stuff, or Xenz’s frescoes, or whatever. The best art has to do that to keep growing, otherwise it just ends up like a one eyed inbred child doesn’t it.

Mr Jago and Xenz in the book

BG: So, got a launch party planned for the book then?

FB: Yeah, definitely, there will be some large scale live painting going on in the centre of town,  then a launch party on the 4th of December. Negotiations about where it might be are still going on, but it’s looking like a location that’s pretty relevant to the subject of the book and the history of Bristol graffiti itself.

BG: So, live painting by 3D, Nick Walker and Banksy then?

FB: *laughs* Painting side by side? I doubt it. I have invited Banksy, but whether he’ll come or not I don’t know. He’ll probably turn up disguised as a woman or something…

‘Children of the Can : 25 Years of Bristol Graffiti’ is out at the end of November ’08 through Tangent Books. You can pre-order your copy here, and in the meantime, check out Felix’s blog about the book at http://childrenofthecan.blogspot.com

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Sepr, Epok, Poer And Poissibly Others Up The Gloucester Road

This was going on last week, and not sure how much further on it’s comes since, but up the Gloucester Road there’s a new gum opening, and they’ve got the KTF crew to come along and paint it up outside.

It’s not finished yet, or perhaps may be by now, but this is where things were up to about a week ago.

This dood greats you as you head into the car park.

Another character just a bit further down, can you tell there’s a weightlifting theme going on here yet?

Along the other side of the entrance to the car park there was this at that stage

Close up of the pigs…

…and the meaner looking dood with his bling going on.

Boxing up the back, couldn’t quite work out the skeleton reference, but then it wasn’t finished yet.

Will go back and check it out again soon.

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Bristol Festival Evening Painting Thursday

So, the light was fading this evening, and tons of people involved in the Bristol graf/street art scene were down there, weirdly someone had a stereo with some classical music playing out over the still evening, it was quite an atmosphere.

Richt and China Mike were down by now, working on a collaborative piece, still a fair way to go on this one, looking wicked so far though.

Molar’s piece, come on a long way from earlier in the day.

Likewise Epok, with Sepr’s OAP ninja turtle nearly done on the left there.

Space, a writer not much seen around, but going to bring some proper wildstyle to the show, not before time, the sketch for this looks awesome and is loads bigger, love it.

Jago and Cheo’s piece, not fully done yet, but damn they’ve worked fast. Love the marker pen…

Inkie, Flx and Lokey, all in a row. Inkie wasn’t even there earlier in the afternoon…

…how long has it been since a proper Inkie piece like that has been done in Bristol? You may wanna compare it with stuff like this.

Cheba’s there too, obviously, only a rough outline right now.

Back over by the waterfront, Oath was putting his part to a wall that looks like it’s all going to flow into one…

But this photo kinda sums this event up. Jeffrow’s been moved from the space in the photo in the previous post, cos this isn’t some formal live painting event. It’s massive, no-one knows how many people are going to end up painting here in the end, latest estimate is in the mid 40’s, and it could be more. It’s a properly huge painting event, and you absolutely have to get down there this weekend to go and see it.

Probably best get a ticket ASAP though, as they’ve already sold out in some shops, and if you’re on the blag, well, Big Jeff’s on the gate, and you wouldn’t want to try to blag him would you?

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Filed under Bristol, Cheba, Cheo, China Mike, Epok, Flx, Haka, Inkie, Jeffrow, KTF, Lokey, Molar, Mr Jago, Richt, Sepr