Category Archives: Richt

What Show At Friend Gallery

So, as promised, some shots from last night’s What Collective show at the teeny tiny Friend and Co Gallery on Gloucester Road.

what-boards

This greets you by the door, the What Collective chaps sprucing the place up a little.

45rpm-and-richt-on-wall

Opposite, some Sums, Richt and Sainty, along with the 45RPM/Richt print on orange.

what-lot

More pieces next door

what-paper

Down the end, more 45RPM painting on the wall, along with an up to date, cutting edge, contemporary installation piece. This show really should have been in trendy shoreditch shouldn’t it. Those little Oath pics are still there from the previous show too, running up the wall that technically makes this gallery have four walls.

45rpm-and-cider

Some 45RPM and Sainty bits on canvases at the bottom there, the print on white on top.

what-canvas

Kinda like Woolworths a few weeks ago in these difficult times, even the show original show flyer goes on sale

45rpm-flyer

Below it some decks, no What show would be complete without them now would they?

decks

There are some other bits there that aren’t on here too, so get yourself down there, and check out some new works in the miniscule of art.

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Filed under 45 RPM, Bristol, Oath, Richt, Sainty, Sums, What? Collective

What Show At Friend Gallery Tonight

what-show-friend-gallery-jan-09

Just a brief reminder for you all in the area that it’s the opening of the What Collective show at the Friend and Co Gallery tonight, promising top new work and possibly even mulled cider if there’s any left. Weather forecast looks rain free too, which, in the case of this gallery, is definitely a good thing.

There’s also gonna be a new Richt and 45rpm print there, as below, but some in black and orange as well too. Perhaps in keeping with the campaign to get rid of plastic carriers on the Gloucester Road, the prints’ going to be printed on some bags as well, for those who prefer their What work in a more portable format. 

what-show-45rpm-and-richt-print1

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Filed under 45 RPM, Bristol, Oath, Richt, Sainty, Sums, What? Collective

12 Days Of Christmas Show – 2008!

So once again, the Steal from Work guys and a huge army of helpers have pulled off another huge show out of nothing in hardly any time. This post is going live as the doors to the show open, so people not there can see it too, but that said, the show was a couple of hours away from finished when these photos were taken, so whilst most of the organisers were of course relaxing having finished setting it all up in advance, there were still a few final tweaks to be made.

So these photos aren’t necessarily the final final thing, you’ll only see that there, and am not putting names with everything just yet, but this blog isn’t here so people can live life through the web, it’s here to encourage you to get out and see stuff for yourself, so get down there!

Incidentally, rumour has it that a load of free spray paint on card pieces will be being left round the area this evening too by an artist not in the show, so keep an eye out.

When you’re round there, you should also definitely go and check out the PRSC gallery at the Stokes Croft end of Jamaica Street. Photos on the blog tomorrow all being well, but it’s got some top work in it, and it’s all for auction, starting at just 99p.

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Filed under 45 RPM, Acer, BC, Bristol, Cyclops, Dan, Dicy, Dora, Mau Mau, Motorboy, Richt, Rowdy, Sainty, Sickboy, Sums, Sweet toof, What? Collective

Guerrilla Galleries – December Show

So, bit of a sad one this one, as last night was the last opening night of Guerrilla Galleries in its current venue. Seemed odd, as the opening of the gallery coincided with the start of this blog, so will be weird when it’s not there come the new year.

Still though, it’s not closing for good, just moving over the space of a few months to bigger and better things, and if last night was anything to go by, the new set up’s going to be pretty darn cool.

Wasn’t just a normal show last night with pictures on walls and the like, there were loads of different things going on.

One part was the printing of a new Cheba screenprint live in the gallery, pretty cool idea, interesting to see it done, though that many Cheba heads all looking identical hanging up was pretty disconcerting after a while.

cheba-prints

Some of them were hand pulled by the man himself.

cheba-printing

On the back wall loads of little canvasses had been set up for different artists to do a small piece on, hard to get a hot of the whole lot, but clockwise from left you’ve got China Mike  (not finished, obviously), Ziml, Mr Jago and Richt.

wall-pieces

And over the other side there was 45RPM and FLX.

45rpm-and-felix

Best bit of all though was having one whole wall turned over to Ziml, who’d put up a massive piece across the wall with canvasses on it as well. So, you could enjoy the piece as a whole, and buy a canvas from part of it, along with an image of the whole thing as it was. Really cool idea.

ziml-wall

You can read more about it if you click on this one for biggerness.

ziml-piece-info

Other works up on the night were these nice pieces from Dan Kitchener, work better at a distance in a way.

dan-k

Some bits from Dred of the Readers’ Wives Collective next to the Dan Kitchener pieces, very cool.

dred-rwc

Jim Starr on the right and some top Sums work on the left.

sums-and-jim-starr

And a couple of window bit, a wide old 45RPM owl…

45rpm-wise-owl

…and something new from Jeffrow, don’t often see his work around, funny to see he’s still using fridge doors for canvasses.

jeffrow

It’s a really good show, and bodes well for new stuff when the gallery moves. Open until xmas, so have a wander along if you’re in the area, especially if you’re coming down for the 12 Days of Xmas show next friday, of which more later…

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Filed under 45 RPM, Bristol, Cheba, China Mike, Flx, Jeffrow, Mr Jago, Richt, Sums, Ziml

Richt And China Mike Head North…

A reminder for anyone reading this further north, or tempted to head up that way anyway (Manchester’s a top city, you should go if you haven’t already…), that the Richt, China Mike and Guy McKinley show opens this Friday at the Upperspace Gallery. They’ve been up there for a while now decorating the place ready for the show, so it’s going to be so much more than just some pictures on some walls, the finished thing should look awesome.

As a sneak preview, here’s a snap of one of the pieces from the show, a Richt and China Mike collaborative piece.

Plenty more where that came from, check it out whilst it’s on…

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Filed under Abroad, China Mike, Richt

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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Filed under 3Dom, 45 RPM, Acer, Andy Council, Awkward, Banksy, Bristol, Cato, Cheba, Cheo, China Mike, Dan, Dicy, Dora, Eco, Epok, Feek, Flx, Ghostboy, Haka, Inkie, Jeffrow, KTF, Lokey, Magic, Mr Jago, Mr Riks, Mudwig, Nick Walker, Paris, Ponk, Richt, Rowdy, Seza, Sickboy, Soker, TCF, What? Collective, Will Barras, Xenz, Ziml

New China Mike, Richt and Guy McKinley Show In The North

In a brave move given the encroaching winter, Richt and China Mike are heading north with Guy McKinley at the end of this month for a show in Manchester’s Upperspace Gallery. Perhaps tempting the fates even further, it’s opening on Halloween, and is named ‘Dogs, Thieves and Dead Girls’, for reasons as are yet unclear.

The Upperspace Gallery is at;

52 Newton Street,
Manchester,
M1 1ED

and is easily reached by many conventional forms of transport. It’s on until the 28th of November, and if you’re there for the opening night, then being there for 8pm should see you safely in.

Have heard some rough murmurings of what’s being planned for this show, and it sounds awesome, really off the wall stuff.

In case that ain’t enough, here’s the flipside of the flyer too.

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Filed under Abroad, China Mike, Richt

Bristol Festival – The Final Photos

Phewf, felt like a bit of a mission this. Still, guess it is with that many pieces to get photos of. Today was, ironically, the best day to get photos of the lot, no crowds, no hassle, and good sunshine. Here’s the remainder of what didn’t get proper attention before…

Outside where people queued, some Nikill and another of those Dan angels as was in the Bearpit before.

Close up on the angel, love the halo for begging, the piece makes a lot more sense now…

Some more stuff from along the big walkway, this time both finished and not obscured, the Feek and Ponk piece

Close up on the Feek character right…

…and left.

Next to it an uninterupted shot of the Soker piece

Next to it Kato

And across the way, a better shot of the FLX piece, finally.

This got missed out as it was a popular spot to stand, blocking it pretty effectively, Yaka, Richt and China Mike

This one’s taken a while to get a better shot of too, 45RPM, skipping the obvious crowd pleasing owl in favour of some letterforms, top stuff.



Finally, hoorah for the stage being taken apart, a decent shot of the Weapon of Choice piece from Saturday night, was determined that one wasn’t going to get missed out just because of two large lighting stacks, a drumkit and a load of amps. And a band.

Got to give props to Acer as well who’s done these wicked joined up photos of some of the walls there (click them for much biggerness).

First the two big ones on the run down to the arena

and next the TCF wall in all its glory. That’s a rare shot of the official TCF forklift on the right there as well, they’ve picked up some odd and slightly awkward sponsorship deals over all these years of painting you know…

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Filed under 45 RPM, Acer, Bristol, Cheba, China Mike, Dan, Dicy, Feek, Flx, Lokey, Nickill, Paris, Ponk, Richt, Sepr, Seza, Soker, Yaka, Ziml

Bristol Festival And Guerrilla Galleries

Got some more photos of the painting going on at the Bristol Festival site yesterday, pretty much everyone was there by the end, and it’s all looking amazing, from characters to pieces and a surprising amount of really good wildstyle in there, don’t see enough of it.

But, the festival’s on now, and you know what, if you want to see the finished stuff today or tomorrow, you should get down there and check it out for yourself. Will post photos of yesterday and the finished work at the start of next week.

That said, some stuff that should help tempt you down there if you’re still somehow undecided is the show Guerrilla Galleries have got on down there. Lots of new work, really strong stuff and it all hangs together really well. Here’s some of it for you now…

Couple of hand drawn Richt originals, really lovely.

The other.

Brand new Mr Jago silk, hot of the presses and never before seen.

Diptych from 3rd Eye, really very cool.

Doubt these will last the weekend unsold, couple of 45RPM owls and a small Cheo.

Also a bigger Cheo alongside a smaller Lokey with one of his can images, ties in well with the board he’s done down there.

More great stuff from Dan, he of the massive Alice down opposite the Croft the other week.

A chance meeting at the Jago show in London led to these coming across the channel from the Reader’s Wives Collective in Guernsey. Really cool stuff, works well on brownish paper too.

Another Reader’s Wives.

Finally an Inkie Triptych, really different from the stuff you normally see of his, and really nice.

So, the sun’s shining, the forecast is good, get down to the Bristol Festival, it’s going to be great.

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Filed under 45 RPM, Bristol, Cheo, Dan, Inkie, Lokey, Mr Jago, Richt

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