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.
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.
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.
The artist Merny has an extraordinary ability to convey very strong messages and emotions in the simplest of ways through his naive style that somehow seems to get straight to the point. Usually his pieces are quite witty or comical, but this one is tinged with sadness and desperation.
The character is bent over double with his head in his hands and alongside him is the caption ‘I’ve got no money’. Unfortunately, with a cost of living crisis heading our way and the impacts of the war in Ukraine, for which Russia (Putin and his cronies) are wholly responsible, this is a desperate image we can expect to see more of this year. Real people in severe difficulties. Well done Merny for tackling such difficult subjects with his art.
The rewards for digging through archives are fruitful and nourishing, and this wonderful little collaboration from Mr Penfold and Merny (Morny) has managed to remain hidden for way too long. I am so happy to be sharing it with you now.
These two have collaborated on more than one occasion, often in the company of Billy, but this is just the two of them. The abstract shapes on the left are from Mr Penfold and the lorry from Merny. The whole transport phase of work from Merny was quite one of the most unique themes in the Bristol street art world, and I have to say that I really miss it, which is why finding this in my archive is such a pleasure.
What you see is what you get from Merny (Morny). This is a fun piece painted in his illustrative style that contains little lines and points as if it were a set of instructions for an Airfix model or a diagram in a Haynes Manual.
In this piece it would appear that a story is unfolding of a nuclear family having a day out. ‘Dad’ is chilling and drinking a beer. ‘The kids’ are calling out “wait for me Linda!” And Linda (or mum) or dad are going on about parallel parking. I suspect that Merny based the concept on a real life event, but I have no evidence for that. All good fun though and wonderfully animated and vibrant.
I get a real buzz every time I see a piece by Merny. I don’t know why I like his art so much, but I think it is probably a combination of the deliberate naive style combined with humour and originality that really appeals to me. One can become blazé about the high quality writing we see every day in Bristol, but it is impossible to walk past a Merny piece and think that it looks like any other piece of art. It doesn’t.
This is a piece of our times and a commentary on the COVID-testing culture that we live in. There is a sadness and a sense of threat in the piece softened by the style and bright colours. Of course, the little labels make an appearance and add so much to this observational work. A very nice piece from Merny.