3758. Upfest 2021 75×75 (4)

With this year’s Upfest being spread over 75 days on 75 different walls, it is quite a challenge to know what is being painted where and by whom. On the upside, you get to meet a lot of artists while they are working, but on the downside, there are some pieces that go under the radar and are quite easy to miss. The watch word here is vigilance combined with keeping your ear to the ground.

Kleiner Shames, Argus Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Kleiner Shames, Argus Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

I found this outstanding mural by Bristol old-boy Kleiner Shames while looking for another piece nearby, and what a surprise. One of my absolute favourites so far. I actually have a couple of Kleiner Shames originals hanging up in my home which I bought from before he moved to London and I have a hugh soft spot for his work. Many of his pieces used to spell out FOIS, but I’m not sure if I can see it in this one but I do think there is writing in there somewhere. The shapes, colours and overall design are magnificent, and remind me of what we are missing since he moved away. Bravo!

3137. Moon Street (83)

He doesn’t visit Bristol often (enough) but when he does he always leaves us something special and on a recent visit Kleiner Shames painted this stunning piece which is a slight departure from his more recognisable FOIS letters that we are more familiar with.

Kleiner Shames, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2020
Kleiner Shames, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2020

Using colours that KleinerShames favours, and that help with identification, and a couple of designer block letters, the piece spells out the artist’s initials K S. I have missed seeing his work since he left for London, but we are blessed in Bristol that he makes these occasional trips to his old home.

2704. St Werburghs tunnel (134)

Pre postscript- sometimes you can get things so wrong, and try to read more into a piece than is going on. Everything below is my own speculation and assumptions going into overdrive. The word is XODUS and not FOIS. It was painted opposite Kleiner Shames and Subtle hence the recognition. I’m not sure who XODUS is, but I feel a bit stoopid. Never mind, I don’t expect anyone will read this nonsense anyway…

Aah, the genius of two brilliant artists conjuring up this amazing and highly unusual piece. It would seem that a Kleiner Shames visited Bristol over the Christmas period and hooked up with his old mate Subtle. The pair both produced pieces in the St Werburghs tunnel, and obviously had a bit of time left over to turn out this stunner.

Kleiner Shames and Subtle, St Werburghs, Bristol, January 2020
Kleiner Shames and Subtle, St Werburghs, Bristol, January 2020

Signed FoiSubtle, the collaboration presents with two distinct styles. My guess is that the letters FOIS are by Kleiner Shames, he always writes these letters but never quite like this, and the characters, a wolf holding a rabbit by the ears are by Subtle, in a bit of a departure from his writing. There is a message on the piece written backwards that says ‘one tin wonders’. I would think this refers to the two colours (plus black) that were used for the piece.

I cannot tell you how much I love this. It is quirky and retro, the characters look like early Disney creations. As I always say when Kleiner Shames comes to town, come back soon.

2672. St Werburghs tunnel (128)

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.

Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2019
Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2019

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.

2541. St Werburghs tunnel (107)

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, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2019
Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2019

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2378. St Werburghs tunnel (91)

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.

Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2019
Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2019

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.

2125. St Werburghs tunnel (71)

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.

Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2019
Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2019

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’.

Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2019
Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2019

1958. M32 roundabout J3 (115)

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.

Kleiner Shames, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2019
Kleiner Shames, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2019

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.

1783. Waterloo Place (2)

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.

Kleiner Shames, Waterloo Place, Bristol, October 2018
Kleiner Shames, Waterloo Place, Bristol, October 2018

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.

Kleiner Shames

A collection of street art by Kleiner Shames (formerly of Bristol and a frequent visitor)

All photographs taken by Scooj

Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2019
Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2019

Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2019
Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2019

Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2019
Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2019

Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2019
Kleiner Shames, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2019

Kleiner Shames, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2019
Kleiner Shames, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2019

Kleiner Shames, Waterloo Place, Bristol, October 2018
Kleiner Shames, Waterloo Place, Bristol, October 2018

Kleiner Shames and Epok, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2018
Kleiner Shames and Epok, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2018

Kleiner Shames, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2018
Kleiner Shames, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2018

Kleiner Shames, Cherry Lane, Bristol, February 2018
Kleiner Shames, Cherry Lane, Bristol, February 2018

Kleiner Shames, Upper York Street, Bristol
Kleiner Shames, Upper York Street, Bristol, January 2017

Kleiner Shames, Armada Place, Bristol, August 2016
Kleiner Shames, Armada Place, Bristol, August 2016

Kleiner Shames, Backfields Lane, Bristol, September 2016
Kleiner Shames, Backfields Lane, Bristol, September 2016

Kleiner Shames, Backfields Lane, Bristol, September 2016
Kleiner Shames, Backfields Lane, Bristol, September 2016

Kleiner Shames, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Kleiner Shames, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

Kleiner Shames, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2016
Kleiner Shames, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2016

Kleiner Shames, Moon Street, Bristol, July 2016
Kleiner Shames, Moon Street, Bristol, July 2016

Fois, Nine Tree Hill, Bristol, January 2016
Kleiner Shames, Nine Tree Hill, Bristol, January 2016

Fois, Hill Street, Bristol, November 2015
Fois, Hill Street, Bristol, November 2015

Fois, Hill Street, Bristol, April 2015
Kleiner Shames, Hill Street, Bristol, April 2015