The fearless talent behind some of the culture’s most polarizing pieces
When Watson Mere made his rounds throughout social media to post his latest piece of Art entitled “American thought”, a civil war of words erupted in comment sections almost immediately. The art work, which features a black woman laying down with a white man as they read books quite contradictory of one another (See pic below) , was the subject of endless debates, insults hurled and controversy. While some saw it as a disapproval of interracial relationships altogether, Mere eloquently summed it up as a “Symbolization of two cultures that have lived together for 400 years but for the most part, don’t comprehend or understand each other.”
Whether you agree with his sentiments or not, the fact of the matter is, Mere’s work has everyone talking. Like any good artist, his art serves as the spoon which stirs up the pot of conversation. The dialogue that ensues can lead to racially charged venom being spewed between opposing parties on smartphones nationwide, or a growing sense of understanding and progress by more rational minds. Either way, Mere is behind it all, and his ability to evoke emotion in those who view his work, should not be taken lightly.
“I’ve been creating art since I was two.”
Mere’s earliest memories consist of him creating. His work, which often has a way of relaying messages, was used to do just that as a child, but in a literal sense. “I’ve been creating art since I was two and it was more so of a way for me to express and assist me with communicating since I wasn’t able to speak until the age of 4,” He says. When his speech did catch on, he was already hooked, and the arts have served as his creative outlet ever since. These days, his work consistently breaks the internet, and ruffles the collective feathers of people near and far. All of his artwork contains a certain level of depth, and while the finished product may be layered with various social commentary, he doesn’t necessarily start off with the issues in mind. “That usually is not the initial approach when I’m first starting on a piece but my mind usually takes it there based on the vibes I’m getting from the very beginning of the piece to the end,” He states.
When preparing for a new piece, Mere tends to tap into everyday life, music and the energy of his people for inspiration. His muses were on full display in his personal favorite piece entitled “Nefertiti’s gaze”, a work of art that marked his entrance into the art world officially. “It was the first piece I created that gave me the feeling and confirmation that I could really take the idea of being an artist seriously and use my talent for something beyond just being a skill that I just kept to myself,” He says. His hopes going forward are to continue growing as an artist and a person, as his images are becoming a fixture in black culture as a whole. Like it or not, Watson Mere’s work is celebrated by his people. Those who oppose it do not phase him, or deter him off of his ultimate mission whatsoever. “There have been and currently are so many amazing black artists that don’t really get recognized by the art world and I feel like we’ve been knocking at this door for a real long time now,” He says. “Perhaps it’s time to create our own buildings.”