Art is Androgynous: I Merey

My school counselor once said something to me that I would never forget: “Art is Androgynous”.

Art is all around, is inclusive and not exclusive. Art is androgynous because it embraces both masculine and feminine (and all that in between). The institution of art has been dominated by male; the society it which the institution locates has been dominated by male, but art itself has always been about beauty and truth. And beauty and truth is beyond gender.

So what would be more appropriate than to introduce artists and their art of androgyny?

The Morning After (ink, acrylic, oil pastel, colored pencil and graphite on cardboard) by I Mere


I Merey is a Hungarian artist and graphic novelist from Portland Oregon, currently living in Munich.

His 2010 graphic novel a + e 4ever is named 2012 Stonewall Honor Book in Children’s and Young Adult Literature [2], and listed as one of the top ten choices on the 2012 Over the Rainbow book list for Adult Readers. [1]

I have come to know I Merey through Tumblr, and have been in love with his art ever since. His topic of choice is consistently of androgynous subjects, trans* and queer individuals.

He does a number of portraits of famous androgynous models, including Australian top model Andrej Pejic and Stav Strashko, Ukraine born androgynous model famous for his apparence in the 2013 Toyota Auris commercial.

Portrait of S. Strashko by I Merey

Andrej Pejic by I Merey

In I Merey’s art, one could see the influence of Japanese manga, art nouveau, and expressionism. Some of his favorite artists Alphonse Mucha, Audrey Kawasaki, James Jean, Rod Luff, and Takato Yamamoto are known for erotic, detailed, deluxe, and exotic style of art; often create a dream-like atmosphere and aura around the characters. Such characteristics could also been observed in many of I Merey’s drawings.

Vampire by Takato Yamamoto

Nest Drawing (2011) by Rod Luff

The Third Dream by I Merey

In one of our exchange of messages, I Merey quotes Oscar Wilde that “To define is to limit.” It appears to be a rather befitting caption for all of his art, from drawings, portraits to graphic novels. The beautiful creatures in I Merey’s art are always fluid, otherworldly and untouchable; they do not answer to the society’s gender rules and so-called norms. They refuse to change who they are to “settle in”.

When I asked I Merey for what mediums he used for his art, his response, in retrospect, was rather metaphorical. He said that he uses everything. Most of his drawings are composed of all kinds of mediums from ink, graphite, pastel, oil pastel, water color to acrylic, gel pen and colored pencil. “The only thing that is consistent is what I draw on (always paper–white, brown or cardboard).” He wrote in one of the messages we exchanged, “I don’t do that canvas thing.”

It is just like his art–a bit of everything. Male and female; masculine and feminine; angelic and devilish; innocent to erotic… The only thing that doesn’t change is the subject of his art–always the beautiful outcasts, walking the teletrope between genders, sexualities and identities, wandering in and out of the norm and absolutely lavishing.


[1]  “Over the Rainbow Books.” Over the Rainbow Books 2012 Over the Rainbow List74 LGBT Books for Adult Readers Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2013. <;.

[2] “Stonewall Book Awards List.” American Library Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2013. <;.