How would you describe your work?
Jimmy Merris: I’d say it doesn’t really fit anywhere. I like uncertainty and doubt and I don’t really know what’s going to happen next. I’ve started painting and I’m finding it really enjoyable. I don’t want to bore the people.
Who or what inspired your approach?
My mother, who is a famous cat painter called Celia Pike.
Whose work would you most like to be exhibited alongside?
Tim Patch, aka Pricasso. Failing that, the real Picasso. I’d have to up my game regardless.
In your opinion, what is the most exciting development in contemporary art?
I’ve just been in the studio a lot and not really seeing much art. I’m out of the loop. But I’m convinced that extraordinary surprises await us. It’s a shame that one can’t imagine what one can’t compare to anything.
Can you tell us something interesting/unusual about yourself?
I had a terrible nut reaction during a Frieze dinner a few years ago because a smart man gave me a goat’s cheese and walnut canapé. I didn’t tell anyone I’d left — I thought I’d just walk it off. My face doubled in size and I ended up in St. Thomas’ A&E. I didn’t have an iPhone at that point, so I couldn’t photograph it, but I looked like that weird bloke from Pan’s Labyrinth, if you know what I mean.
Bianca Chu, Head of Sale for First Open / London: Jimmy Merris works across video and works on paper, as well as performance and events. His playful Self Portrait with Swimming Googles uses found objects in a lighthearted manner.
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