The Artwork of Watson Mere
I think of my work as a window. For some, the window reflects the viewer’s own experiences or ideologies, for others, it presents a view into a world they may have never noticed or understood, allowing them to analyze and consider new ideas and perspectives. My goal in each piece is to create an image that the observer can't passively view but is drawn to engage with. The inspiration for my work is derived from the cultural complexities of those who identify with the African diaspora.
I have a passion to provide a voice through imagery to those that society has left mute for so long. The foundation of this passion comes from my own voicelessness. As a child, I could not speak until the age of five and was taught to create art at the age of two to communicate. My inability to speak at the toddler and pre-schooler age led me to become incredibly observant and honed my ability to translate these internal and external observations into art. In a sense, for my entire life art has been a constant vehicle I have utilized to express myself. At the age of thirteen, I discovered the program Microsoft Paint and this along with acrylics, oils, pastels, and other mediums has been my voice to reflect on the times ever since.
My intent for each symbolically layered piece is to create a meeting ground where modern themes of black culture and ancient African symbolism can communicate a griot-like story to the viewer. The magnifying vibrant colors draw the observer in as the subject matter displayed before them, silently tells a story that sparks their imagination, as to what the piece says to them.
Watson Mere has been an exhibiting artist for the past seven years. Mere’s work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and venues, which include the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY; Venice Art Gallery, Venice, Italy; Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn, NY; The Billie Holiday Theatre, Brooklyn, NY; Norman Rea Gallery, York, United Kingdom, and The Africa Center, Harlem, New York. He has earned various awards including being a recipient of the 2022 Elizabeth Foundation For The Arts Studio Program, a 2021 New Futures recipient from The Other Art Fair, the 2018 Citation of Honor (Arts) from the District Attorney of Kings County, and the 2018 Jean-Michel Basquiat Award from Creole Image Honors. In 2018, C-Suite Quarterly chose Mere as a NextGen 10 in Philanthropy, Art, & Culture. Mere and his work has been featured in publications and television networks such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue Magazine, Esquire Magazine, Artsy, NPR, News 12 New York, Philly Magazine, Broadway World, The Philadelphia Inquirer, AfroPunk, Colossal, GlobeNewswire, Nylon, C-Suite Quarterly, and more.
Mere attended Florida A&M University, receiving a B.A. in Business Administration in 2011 and a Masters in Business Administration in 2015. He was born and raised in the town of Belle Glade, FL to two immigrant parents from Haiti. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and maintains a studio at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in Times Square, Manhattan.