I was a late adopter of these wonderful boards on the side of the Lost Horizon Arts Centre – somehow I just didn’t discover them until about a year ago. Now, Elton Street is definitely on my radar, and has become a refreshing outdoor gallery that tends not to get tagged, where the artworks remain intact until they are simultaneously repainted in a curated way.
This is a fine commentary piece by Merny, who tends to see the world through a socio-political lens. In this piece, the blue man is filming/photographing other people. I guess it is demonstrating that in this digital age, everything is recorded in one way or another, there is no privacy or freedom from the camera lens gaze. “We’re watching you” happens on a personal as well as institutional level. A lovely piece from Merny.
Recently, you might have noticed that I have been trying to publish more than two posts per day from time to time. This is due to the fact the November has been a bumper month on the streets, and I want to share as much as I possibly can. Of course, in doing so I risk impacting on the quality of the posts, so I need to try and keep a balance.
Since the Bristol Mural Collective started painting in Leonard Lane, it has become much more of a ‘go to’ destination for street art, and the turnover of work there is on the increase. This is a lovely observational piece from Merny, where we have to make up our own story. I guess these two ladies are too busy on their social media feeds to notice one another. I think the left, left, left, left words are a reference to a dating app. Swiping left means what? is it good or bad? Dating apps are a bit of a mystery to me, given that I have been out of the dating game since long before social media was a thing. More great thought-provoking stuff from Merny.
Merny manages to turn his pieces out quite regularly these days, and some last longer than others, but overall his presence and ‘brand’ in Bristol is constantly growing. This is an artist who never shies away from bold political statements and has become an important street commentator on the pressures and divides in our country. “F*ck being posh” is a clear illustration of the resentment of the gap between rich and poor getting ever more prominent under 12 years of Tory Government.
Merny’s work, although naive in style, is full of narrative, movement and interest. It is impossible to walk past his work and not pay attention. Alongside John D’oh, Merny reminds us about the political landscape in which we live. A great piece of social commentary art.
It is always, always a pleasure to find Merny pieces… he is one of my favourite artists in Bristol, always coming up with pieces that have a story to tell, and this one at the entrance of the tunnel is no exception.
Unlike many other Merny pieces, this one has remained untagged and intact for a week or two now, which is great news for those that don’t get an opportunity to see his creations. The message here is ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bath water’, but what it refers to I am not quite sure. The naive illustration is full of colour and movement and leaves little to the imagination.
The right-hand side of the piece is a little bit of extra abstract work, and I am not entirely sure what it is about. There is a nice colour transition, and the shapes are quite pleasing. I wondered if it was finished, or whether Merny was simply using up some paint and having a bit of fun. As a whole, I like this wall, but of course I would, because I am a bit of a fan.
There are few things more tempting for graffiti and street artists than a newly buffed wall, and this one from a week or two back was an open invitation. The tragedy is that the walls are buffed by people as part of a community service order, as punishment for crimes not serious enough to warrant custody. Their work is pointless, and frankly a waste of paint, but nice prep for artists.
Quick to take advantage of the backdrop was Merny with this portrait piece including his trademark dot labels. The colours are rather striking and as such the piece grabs your attention. I rather like it, but from conversations with Merny, it would seem he isn’t that impressed with it. In case you missed it, I published a gallery of Merny’s work yesterday, and you can see it here.
Pretty much my favourite collaborations are those between Billy and Merny, their naive styles complement each other so well and they both tell fabulous stories with their paintings. This collaborative wall was painted a couple of weeks ago.
To the left, as is usually the case with their collaborations, is Billy’s piece, that claims ‘it used to be different here’. It would appear that the piece is a commentary on the huge development that is going on on the other side of the hoardings. The woman in a strawberry dress, overlooking a new housing development, has the look of a Dick Bruna character, the artist who created Miffy the rabbit. Everything about this piece is perfect… the story, the artwork and the location.
To the right of Billy’s piece is a rather bleak message from Merny in which a man, perhaps a teacher, is pointing at words on a board that read ‘no one cares’. I would suggest that maybe this is a reflection of the troubled times we live in where we have an inept and out of touch government that is looking after the interests of the wealthy. The signature numbered labels create interest and humour to the piece.
What a fabulous collaboration from these two. I was pleased to get photographs as often their pieces don’t last long, which is both irritation and disrespectful.
This wonderful piece from Merny made me laugh a lot and offered another insight into the artist’s observational skills and ability to recreate otherwise ordinary conversations or objects and turn them into something visually special. I always enjoy his work, and the naive style lends itself to remarkable storytelling.
The heroine of the piece declares ‘I utterly can’t help it if I’m beautiful hun!’ And tells us so much about this rather vain and laughable, but somehow endearing character. What I like about the piece is that we all probably know somebody like this, and it is this resonance that works so well, like a good situational comedian. The woman is talking to herself in a mirror, which makes the piece even more hilarious. Great work from Merny.
Merny is an artist who portrays moments of everyday life in a way that turns the mundane and ordinary into the extraordinary. It reminds me of the Aardman electricity adverts, called Creature Comforts, from a few years ago, where sound recordings of rather boring conversations were brought to life by illustrating them with animals using stop-frame model animation (from the Wallace and Gromit team). Merny’s work is the static version of this creative approach.
This piece was created earlier this year, but having only recently found this spot, it is all new to me. ‘Relax Tony, I am elite reiki healer pls’ – this is so funny, and perfectly accompanied by two characters acting out the scene, incorporating the bullet labels that we see on Merny’s work. Another fabulous story piece in Merny’s inimitable style.
At the second attempt, I managed to get a couple of shots of this wonderful piece from Merny. My first effort was scuppered by shadows cast on the piece from the bushes. The first rule of street art photography is to try to pick an overcast day, unless the walls you are photographing are not compromised by shadows or in shadow.
Merny is continuing his themed work featuring a person in an everyday situation with a caption and some point labels with numbers or letters in them. In this piece a lady with an iPad is looking at her screen and saying ‘oh dear’. Her utterance could be in response to any number of things, and the clever thing about this piece is that it requires the viewer to fill I the gaps and write their own story. The story for me is the Ukraine war. That could be me hovering over my iPad searching out the latest news. Another excellent piece from Merny.