top of page
Jeffrey Meris_How are you my love_ (Victor)_2024_MERJE010.jpg

Jeffrey Meris, How are you my love? (Victor), 2024, silicone, hydrocal, steel, 69 x 22½ x 27 inches

Merik Goma_My Heart is Light in the Void_Untitled 2_2022_GOMME001.jpg

Merik Goma, My Heart is Light in the VoidUntitled 2, 2022, digital C-print, 30 x 22½ inches

Jeffrey | Merik


Exhibition: April 27th, - May 25th, 2024

Wednesday - Saturday 11am - 6pm

800 NW 22nd Street, Miami, FL 33127

Text by Claire Kim

Jeffrey | Merik features new and recent works by artists Merik Goma and Jeffrey Meris. The exhibition showcases works steeped in themes of communal healing and unearthing metaphors from everyday symbols— both long standing pillars for each of their respective practices. This project is the first to show works by the two long-time friends alongside one another. 

Merik shares photographs from two different series: Your Absence is My Monument (2020-21) and My Heart is Light in the Void (2022-23). The selected works showcase his set-building, painterly technique, and masterful use of lighting and color to portray the complicated interior worlds of not only his characters, but of the people in his life. Your Absence is My Monument holds a particular resonance for this show as the works were conceived and actualized when Merik and Jeffrey were first acquainted. This series is a response to the experience of compounded grief and endless search for resolution. At the time of conception, the artist had lost a close friend and his grandmother and was forced to contemplate on the manifestation of absence itself. The works then act as windows into a space of meditative trance allowing weight and meaning to be distributed between what exists both in and out of the frame.


The works that Jeffrey shares in this exhibition, like Merik’s, are heavily influenced by personal and communal experiences he encountered during the beginning of their friendship in 2020. Showcasing all new works, the selections include wall-based installations, found object sculptures, and three plaster and silicone busts. The busts, titled How are you my love? (Victor) (2024), A true Southern Belle (Lady K) (2024), and And who are we wearing tonight? (Xavier) (2024) are of three people who have fundamentally impacted the artist’s growth, particularly in relation to his existence in New York City. The series, which began with plaster casts of Jeffrey himself and his mother, has become an archival project— one that commemorates relationships and loved ones over anything else. This focus on the intangible is key to Jeffrey’s practice in many ways and is often referenced in the selection and combination of materials such as copper, steel, metal hooks, and even t-shirts—pushing together elements that are marked by their stagnant or ever-changing qualities. Such choices in materials invite time as a collaborator while simultaneously emphasizing metaphors for alchemic and cosmic potential. 




I have known Jeffrey and Merik for almost five years now, though it feels like much longer: a result of the warped sense of time when we met during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. When I think of the two of them together, a particular memory bubbles up above the rest. It was early on in our friendship, shortly after we were acquainted during a live-in art residency in New Haven, CT. After a heavy overnight snowstorm, the three of us, bundled up, met in front of our apartment building and headed to the park across the street. We walked single file, calf deep in snow, little snowflakes still falling on our hats and eyelashes. Jeffrey brought along a shovel for sledding, which I encouraged enthusiastically. Merik, quietly and almost to himself, noted that the snow may be too fresh for sledding, “but, we can try,” he said. It is worth noting here that Jeffrey, who was born in Haiti and raised in the Bahamas, and Merik, born in Michigan and lived in Buffalo, NY, may have differing relationships to snow. We arrived at the hill where Jeffrey plopped down on the shovel—and promptly sank. Laughing, but not giving up, he began aggressively shimmying left and right, but to no avail. Merik watched for a little while before trying to help by pushing on the handle. I laughed so hard, I cried— my warm tears became cold crunchy patches on my gloves. I can’t forget it.

The two are so different from one another—not only in background and knowledge of snow, but in temperament, personality, aspiration, communication and so much more. Yet, their friendship is a testament to how these differences are overcome through an abundance of trust. Time and again, I have seen them show up for each other, even when it was difficult and inconvenient. They have consistently responded to the other’s challenges with “we can try.” The upcoming exhibition, Jeffrey | Merik, hosted by Andrew Reed Gallery, is simply another one of these many exchanges I have witnessed so often.


Installation photography courtesy of Zachary Balber

bottom of page