In this game, exploring definitely pays off. We have been clearing out the house recently, and on one of my two trips to the recycling centre, I drove a different route home, and was rewarded with a block of hoardings and a couple of warehouse buildings with graffiti art of varying ages. Finding a spot like this is both exciting and also a little bit embarrassing, because it has taken me so long to find it.
Merny’s work beautifully reflects the Bristol textile quarter – something I never knew even existed. The colourful piece features bobbins, cloth and sewing machine parts in beautiful design, brightening up the shutter door of the Bristol Weaving Mill. The piece is actually twinned with a Billy piece – to follow.
“I’m avin this trolley”. How skilful Merny is as a storyteller… even with her back turned to us you can tell this is an elderly lady making a grab for a trolley outside a supermarket. A lady unshakable in her determination to have what she has set her eyes on – we’ve all encountered this lady at some time in our lives.
Merny’s naive style works perfectly for this scenario, and there is an honesty and authenticity in his work, which contributes to the storytelling. As with all his works, Merny has added a series of numbered pointers, suggesting there is a key explaining the elements of the picture, such a clever and compelling mechanism. There is always so much to enjoy about Merny’s work.
More Merny mirth. The utterly unique style of this storytelling artist is always enjoyable, and forces the viewer to stop and think for a moment or two. Here the subject is busy, fixated on his phone. My interpretation is that he is telling himself he will go to sleep in one minute, knowing that his addiction to social media will not allow that to happen.
The naive style combined with the numbered tags are so much a part of Merny’s work, that there really is no need for a signature. Some may dismiss his work, but I consider it to be thoughtful, challenging and deliberate, and am cheered up every time I find a new piece.
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.