Monday, 6 July 2015

Andy Mercer - Older works

I decided it would be a good idea to let folks see some of my older works. 

Triple Kings II 

Triple Kings II 

I created this work for a competition to design a Christmas card back in the 1990's. It was selected as a finalist and exhibited at Bonhams auction house in London. 

It's a combination of a pastel and pen drawing with extra drawn elements laid over the top. So its a sort of collage. 

It's quite interesting because it pre dates my digital works but has quite a few similarities. 

It has sold regularly since as a Christmas card

As an image I think I prefer the one below but it is maybe a bit dark for a Christmas card. 
Triple Kings III

Andy Mercer's website

Sunday, 17 August 2014

City Lines

Latest version of my CITY LINES animation

Had a lot of fun and hit a lot of snags along the way with this. It sort of seemed logical as I like line drawings to string them together. Personally I like images that are rough at the edges so I'm happy with it, I know it will probably drive serious animators round the twist.

I'm indebted to the very talented Dorothea Baker of Melbourne Australia for allowing me to use her music.

 Andy Mercer's website

Saturday, 29 March 2014

A busy week..


There have been a number of interesting developments over the last week. 

Zatista is a US based website selling original art and limited edition prints. I've not heard of it myself but OneKingsLane is a premier US home decor site. 

"We are thrilled to announce that Zatista will be doing a curated event with One King's Lane, the premier e-commerce site for home decor, fashion and accessories.

A special collection from Zatista has been selected to be offered for sale on One King's Lane from 30th March to Aprilt 15th For the duration of the event we will be placing the selected works on hold on Zatista so that they are exclusively offered to the One King's Lane audience.

The even better news is that your work has been chosen by the board of curators to be part of the collection! This opportunity provides incredible exposure to millions of potential buyers." 

So I have got to be pleased that three of my works have been selected from among many thousands on the Zatista website. 

Alice James Books
A couple of days ago I was approached by Alice James Books, a nonprofit poetry press based in the US, to inquire about using one of your pieces on the cover of one of their forthcoming books. The piece they are interested in is:

"Urbanización 3"

They want to use it as a color picture for the cover of a book of poems, entitled Refuge/es by Michael Broek with a publication dates of May 2015. I hope to post pics of the final cover when I get a copy. 

New Mills Art Festival 2014
"Congratulations! We are delighted to inform you that your work has been selected for New Mills ArtsFEST 2014 Town Trail." 

I'm always pleased to find new and different locations to show my art, and the New Mills Art Festival appealed to me. From 17th May – 1st June more than 30 artists, from across the UK, display their work in unusual places and spaces, windows and pop-up venues across New Mills, as part of the annual festival. Turning the town into a gallery, the trail can be viewed at any time, and creates opportunities for residents and visitors going about their daily business to encounter a wide range of contemporary art

New Mills Arts, founded in 2012, is an artist-led initiative passionate about the promotion of contemporary art and raising the profile of New Mills.


Dean Gibson School, Kendal

I'm also pleased to announce the installation of the artwork below which was produced as a collaboration with Yr 5 at Dean Gibson Primary School Kendal. The work has been installed in their learning lab. (Site pictures to follow) 

The kids created the majority individual elements and I brought them all together into one digital work. I love the way kids don't have any boundaries.. they just do it ! The work is printed onto acrylic and the colours really zing. Well done kids ! 

And last but not least this week my work has been featured in the Artfinder "City Life" newsletter.

Many thanks to all the above for supporting for my work. I can't wait for next week ;)

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Future of Design

Not strictly art related but this does provide fascinating possibilities for creating objects directly from concepts. I'd love to be artist in residence at SpaceX.

Elon Musk is a 21st business visionary, a man who seems intent single handedly changing the world. After creating and selling Paypal he formed Space X with the intention of colonising space, his craft already supply the ISS. Tesla Motors to create usable electric cars and has recently announced the design for "hyperloop" an ultra fast transport system.

P.S You must watch it to the end and see the design component being 3D printed using particles of titanium.

Andy Mercer's website

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Miro at the train station

On holiday (vacation) in Puerto Pollensa on the island of Majorca, we decided after a few days relaxing in the sun to take a trip through the mountains to the north coast of this beautiful island. We stopped at the wonderful Lluc Monastery the spiritual heart of the island. It always amazes that people without any faith who never step foot in a church will happily pile into churches and religious sites while on holiday, but thats another story.

After a couple of short stops we reached Port Soller, a delightful coastal town on the north coast of the island. The town is known for its charming position surrounded by high mountains, orange groves and its delightful harbour. Majorca has been a favorite destination for Brits since the 1960's and flights to the sun first became affordable to the masses. This is the less developed part of Majorca with none of the large hotels and apartment blocks.

Harbour side Restaurant in Port Soller 

Port Soller is linked by an old tram with the town of the same name a mile or two inland. The plan was to transfer from the tram onto the scenic railway that would take us back through the mountains towards the city of Palma. The tram clattered and wobbled it's way through the orange and lemon groves into the town of Soller and the journey ended at the railway station, where we were informed we would have to wait an hour for the train to depart. So finding we had an hour to kill in the Soller we started to walk back down into the centre of town in the 30C heat. It was then I spotted a poster showing unmistakable Miro work outside the station.

The town of Soller surrounded by high mountains

I thought "surely not".. an exhibition of Miro works in the train station ? But there they were inside the train station in what was probably once a waiting room. And not only that there was a separate exhibition of Picasso ceramics in another room. (I have to admit I'm not a massive fan of Picasso) Either of these collections would warrant a major show in London with security, massive queues and big big publicity but here they were almost unnoticed by the majority of folks waiting for the train in this small sleepy town in northern Majorca.

Miro's work is almost synonymous with modern Spain and he is unique in being an artist whose work has somehow taken on a life of its own. It doesn't appear dated. Miro and Gaudi are the two artists who we have come to be identifiedwith modern Spain, and especially the great city of Barcelona.

He created the "Espana" logo widely copied adapted for Spanish tourist brochures around  the world.  

Could you imagine an important exhibition of art works at some small town rail station in Britain or the States ? I love exhibitions in random non art locations, I tried to arrange an exhibition this year at Preston Bus Station but the powers that be seem intent on knocking it down.. the fools. (But that is also another story) So these show's ticked boxes for me. 

So if you are in Majorca and want to get away from the holiday crowds its definitely worth a visit to Soller station.

The trip back via the mountain railway is also spectacular.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Marc Chagall at Liverpool Tate.

Twenty years ago I had to travel to London to see Chagall’s work exhibited now he has moved nearer and come to Liverpool. In another twenty years maybe he'll be showing next door ?

Having spent most of my life in the 20th century, 21st century orientated folks will have to excuse my going on about Chagall. For reasons I barely understand I never tire of his work. It's hard to say anything new, for me it's like visiting an old friend..

There's a nice quote on the wall in the gallery attributed to Picasso
 "When Matisse dies Chagall will be the only artist who knows what colour is."  

He was "dead" right. I always feel the need to get in close to Chagall's work... and get my head round the logic of the illogical. From a distance things looks like a church, a person, a house, but up close they often make little sense visually. The eye is led a merry dance. Why should a guy who mainly painted Russian Jewish peasant life have such a hold on my/our imagination ? Not many Jewish Russian peasants at the show.

Some folks have a song or music as the anthem to their lives, but for us this role is probably played by Chagall. The artist with his love flying above his head while holding her hand was made for us, but in reverse. Chagall doesn't care if the line is scratched, the forms don't make sense and the colour isn't flat and neither do I, so maybe that's a part if it. It seems an insult to analyse his work by any conventional artistic standard.

Chagall is to Russia what Warhol is to the USA. At first it’s like looking at the pieces of a unmade jigsaw but magically over time the whole thing comes together. The sum is greater than the individual parts. Don't look too long, Chagall gets under your skin. Months later you will see a pic and know instantly he painted it. Go and have a look !

He doesn't preach, he isn't overtly political, arrogant or sentimental.  His works goes against the current prevailing tyranny of photographic realism that cries out from all directions from every advertising hoarding and TV commercial. Chagall just is. I would happily hang a Chagall pic on my wall.

Which brings me on nicely to.. I'm not sure what the rest of Liverpool Tate is about. On the ground floor there was something about “Hangmen” I looked into for 30 seconds. I didn't see any Hangmen but maybe I didn't look hard enough.

How have visual art venues been hijacked by this stuff ? I'm all for experiments but I’ve been seeing similar obscure visual experiments in the majority of galleries for 40-50 yrs now. In what way is this still breaking boundaries or experimental ?

I suspect Duchamp understood he was on a road to nowhere and decided to do other things.

How did this “Cult of Obscurism” take over almost every gallery ? And why not theatres, cinema's, science labs or music venues ? Did Karl Heinz Stockhausen take over the Royal Albert Hall to the almost complete exclusion of all other forms of music? Did Beckett and his followers take over all the West End theatres ? No.. so why has this stuff taken over so many galleries ? IMO it's plain weird.

I get the impression if grant funding was withdrawn (austerity could have an upside) the whole lot would vanish overnight. It feels like the Soviet Union of Art, appearing big and all encompassing but hiding its bankruptcy, then without warning “pop” it’s all gone. A very nice lady first brought me here when it opened, (apart from Mark Dion's ship disappearing down the gallery plug hole).. I hated the whole thing and remember being quite vocal about it. I think she was shocked. But for me art will be always have to incorporate colour and line.. I really don't understand anything else. I’m unashamedly partisan. I really don't care if some guy sticks old plates on a wall and calls it art.. I'm not interested.

I like the gaudy plastic chandelier in the foyer though.. it doesn't take itself that seriously.

Anyway still enjoyed the exhibition. Great to see Liverpool on a lovely sunny day bursting with international visitors and looking every inch the major European city it deserves to be. But that is a whole different story.

Liverpool Tate Café 12.50 11th July 2013

Andy Mercer's website

Monday, 3 June 2013

Pixelation.. is it always bad ?

Quite a lot of my artworks incorporate pixelation.. and I quite often get comments from photographers and printers about it.

>In my experience many photographers and printers judge image acceptability according to photographic criteria.. and they use the same standards to judge artwork as they do photographs. They look at the work through a magnifying glass to check for clarity and that pixels are not blown. I often deliberately blow the colours and incorporate pixelation, I'm not really interested in good photographic quality, it's not what my work is about. I want  to stretch the digital medium to its limits.. I like to think this "rough unfinished look" is in part what attracts clients and buyers to my work and I do have plenty of buyers.

I look on it this way.. if someone is painting you wouldn't reject the painting because the  brush strokes are visible. So why is it a problem if pixelation (which is an inherent characteristic of digital art work) is visible or deliberately incorporated ? I want my images to have unplanned elements and rough edges I wonder if in 100 years from now.. the ever more detailed and clean digital photographic images will be of any more interest than the old grainy black and white photos of the pre-digital era ?  Personally I doubt it. If a printer/client/photographer is going to judge my work by photographic standards my work is always going to fail. 
For me the above detail has lots of interesting contrasts and nuances going on.. 
I'm not ashamed of the fact that I am using the digital medium.

Constructive comments welcome

Andy Merer
Andy Mercer's website