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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bristol street artists mourn the 'King of Paint'

What with various problems I had completely missed this in July. Very sad. A new tribute image is also up in North Street, Bedminster.

By Sophie Prideaux  Bristol Post, 23rd July.

The mural in Chapter Street in St Paul's which features the face of  Matt Hibbert – aka Mibsy, the King of Paint
The mural in Chapter Street in St Paul's which features the face of Matt Hibbert – aka Mibsy, the King of Paint
  STREET artists from across Bristol have been paying tribute to the man they dubbed the King of Paint, Matt 'Mibsy' Hibbert, who died last week.

Mibsy, who was 39, had built up a strong relationship with many of Bristol's well-known graffiti artists after opening the King of Paint shop and gallery on Haymarket Walk, which supplied spray paint and other supplies to the city's street artists.

The death of Mibsy, whose face features on a large graffiti mural in Chapter Street, St Paul's, shocked the many people who visited the shop or knew him from the Stokes Croft area.

He had recently been staying at the Dean Neurological Centre in Gloucester, but after falling ill was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

People have since taken to social media to pay tribute to Mibsy, who they said had a "heart of gold".
Bristol graffiti artist Tom 'Inkie' Bingle, who painted one of the arches on the Carriageworks in Stokes Croft, led the tributes, saying without Mibsy Bristol would be a "greyer place".

He said: "RIP Matt Hibbert aka Mibsy, the King of Paint. My deepest love goes out to all his family and friends, very sad news. As well as supporting the See No Evil events on Nelson Street, without Mibsy half of Bristol's graffiti scene would have gone without their materials to create such beautiful works and the city would be a greyer place."

See No Evil gallery in Nelson Street said: "Bristol has lost a true gent... rest in peace."

Felix 'FLX' Braun, part of Bristol's street art scene for more than 30 years, said: "I'm sure he had no idea how much his gentle nature and warmth meant to the hundreds of writers he got to know whilst working behind that counter."

Tom Deams has painted a large tribute to Mibsy in Stokes Croft. He said: "So Matty or Mibsy would have walked past this spot every day after closing up at The King of Paint graffiti shop... I felt he deserved to have his name painted big here and I feel blessed to have known him for the short period I did. Matty was a gentleman and such a nice person to know. Shine on Mibsy, we all love you."

Artist Fiv3r, who recently proposed to his girlfriend with a piece of Beauty and the Beast-themed graffiti, has also sprayed a mural for him. And Inkie said more memorial pieces are likely to be popping up across the city, including one he will be working on tomorrow with fellow artist Cheo in a mystery location in Bristol.


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