Kleiner Shames has managed to find a moment to return to Bristol and leave this fabulous FOIS piece on the wall of the Coach and Horses. Seeing this simply serves to remind me just what we are missing since the artist made his move to London a few years ago.
This large piece is part of a collaborative wall painted recently with 3Dom and Sepr (to follow soon). Kleiner Shames is probably the classiest writer about. His incredible eye for design, form, colour and shape is unparalleled, and he pretty much always nails it every time. The observant among you may have noticed the Dott Rotten ‘spoilt’ piece nestling, untouched, above the FOIS. This is a very fine piece on a special wall.
The unannounced visits from Kleiner Shames are probably my favourite surprises in documenting street/graffiti art in Bristol. Kleiner Shames, who writes FOIS, lived in Bristol for a while before moving to London a few years ago. I understand he now lives in Cornwall (a wise man, if it is true), which would explain why some of his w (the St Mawes ferry, for example) has appeared down that way.
This is one half of a collaborative wall with Ysae, I think, a friend Kleiner Shames often used to paint with when he lived here. The beautiful flowing letters are perfectly set off with a nicely done 3D shadow, blue border and striking red background. Aah, reminds me of the old days.
I have a feeling that although Kleiner Shames now lives and works in London, he must have friends or family in Bristol who he visits from time to time, and when he does, he takes a little time out to paint, which is lucky for us really.
This piece is one of a couple that he painted over the Christmas break in the St Werburghs tunnel. Spelling out FOIS, this is typical of the wonderful designed style that Kleiner Shames uses. The colours and solid fills are trademarks that identify his work, but it is the hint of art influences from the 1920s that I love to see. He is an artist that will always be welcome in Bristol.
One of the great things about Kleiner Shames is that he keeps coming back to Bristol and when he does he usually drops one of his stunning pieces which are always most welcome. The light in St Werburghs tunnel really doesn’t do the piece justice and it would be nice to see his next piece somewhere with more natural light.
Kleiner Shames was one of the first writers that I really appreciated and his work led me gently into the world of graffiti writing, which I had previously not engaged with much. It is definitely an acquired taste and takes some getting used to, but it requires as much skill and technique as other forms of street art. Kleiner Shames is a master of introducing a mature designed feel into his street work. Such a shame he doesn’t still live in Bristol.
I really do wish that Kleiner Shames had never left Bristol for the lure of London, but I suppose that is where the work and opportunities are. However, it is so good that roughly two or three times a year he returns to Bristol and leaves one of his distinctive pieces as a gift to all of us that admire his work.
Although taking pictures in St Werburghs tunnel is a nightmare, some pieces transcend the quality of the picture, and this in my view is one of those. The letters spell out FOIS (time in French), and for a long time I thought that was the name of the artist. I don’t remember how I met him, or discovered his name, but I do remember buying a couple of pieces of art from him when he was clearing out his studio to move to London, and they are treasured possessions indeed. Come back soon.
Well it appears that Kleiner Shames has been back in town, and left us with a most beautiful FOIS at the farm end of St Werburghs tunnel. His distinctive style and colour palette seems to draw heavily on the Art Deco style combined with a kind of 1970s/80s freedom.
His metallic spray paint used for the central lettering is a nightmare to photograph in the tunnel – if it is in shade it is one colour, if it is in the light another and pictured from the front it goes from dark to light. Irrespective of the trickiness of trying to get a nice picture, it is always, always great when Kleiner Shames comes ‘home’.
Regular readers might recognise this as the work of the wonderful talent that is Kleiner Shames. His colour palette and the shapes of his letters are very distinctive, and if that is not enough to go on, the letters FOIS should give it away.
Such sights are a bit of a rarity in Bristol these days since the artist trundled off to london to find his fortune, but I guess he still hankers after the old city of Bristol and makes these occasional trips and marks them with fine pieces like this one. I find his letters very calming and gentle and aesthetically pleasing. Nothing jars. Always a genuine pleasure to find one of these.
I was first alerted to this Kleiner Shames piece on Instagram, but from the pictures I saw I just couldn’t get the location. In the end I had to message one of my street art buddies to find out where it was…which looking at it now with hindsight is blooming obvious. There is a charity in Bristol called the SOFA Project (Shift Old Furniture Around) which has two locations one of which, the Old Market store, has a walled yard where this piece is sprayed. The charity sells on old furniture, donated locally, to those less able to afford new furniture. A worthy venture.
On to this stunning piece by my favourite ex-Bristol artist, Kleiner Shames. Most of his wall work is writing, with the odd exception, and he tends to spell out the letters FOIS which spells out ‘time’ in french. The lettering here is so easy on the eye and beautifully designed. Every time I see pieces like this I feel there must be an element of art deco architectural influence going onm, or at least that is what it looks like to me. This is a very fine piece indeed.
I write my posts in batches, getting a few done in advance, when I have a moment to do them. This can be tricky while juggling a full-time job, two teenage children, a cat, a dog, a chameleon, an extremely hard-working wife, housework, an allotment, decorating and so on. Life is full, and it would be impossible to find the time to write two posts a day every day. Doing them in batches also carries economies of scale, where I can process a batch of photographs in one go and writing tends to come more freely once you are on a roll.
Why am I mentioning this? Well, by the time I publish this post on a fabulous piece by Kleiner Shames, I will be on a special short break trip in Barcelona with my daughter, and I wanted to say ‘hello from Barcelona’, but to say this I have had to think ahead and I am saying ‘hello from Barcelona’ from the comfort of my study which all feels a bit artificial really, but is helping me to get very excited about our trip.
This is a fine piece of writing from one of my favourite Bristol artists who now lives in London. I have posted many of his works on this blog, and each of them is a winner. Concealed in this splash of colour is the word ‘FOIS’…time in French. Most of his pieces have this word, and at first I thought his street art name was Fois.
This is another one that I have dug out of my archive, because it is simply just too good not to share.
Oh and ‘Hi from Barcelona’ I think I’m having a wonderful time.