MERO: A Chronicler of Puerto Rican Urban Life


In the last 15 years, Puerto Rico has seen the development of urban and graffiti art (called “grafiteo” on the island), through a group of young and talented artists including ISMO, Sofia Maldonado, Rimex, Son, Sez and Edgardo Larregui, Melt Star (Melanie González), Ogral (Luis A. Mercado),  Mor (Manuel Otero), Esco (Gerardo Cloquell), Jeko (Pedro Quiñones), EXOR (Diego Romero Martínez), and MERO (Joel Romero Martínez).

MERO/Joel Romero Martínez (San Juan, 1981) completed his high school degree at the Central School of Visual Arts (2001) and his B.A. in Arts at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras (2005). According to Manuel Álvarez Lezama (Art Premium) in his article “Mero: Cronista de sus tiempos” [MERO: A Chronicler of His Time], MERO uses his formal training to create artwork that conveys, with more strength and originality, his socio-political concerns by means of an art form that can reach the people more directly and effectively: an intelligent graffiti art that, while smart, is not elitist. He produces a “poetic and dramatic graffiti” that is also highly accessible.

In the last few years MERO has taken “his complex/interesting/provocative imaginary to canvas” and has participated in various collective exhibitions in the leading art galleries of San Juan; thus, says Álvarez Lezama, “moving from being another graffiti artist to becoming a phenomenal chronicler of some of the realities” that define Puerto Rican life.

The following is a video-portfolio of MERO’s work from 2002 to 2009. It includes drawings, paintings, prints, graffiti, murals, mixed media, and in situ interventions, among others. It includes original music by MERO.

For full article by Manuel Álvarez Lezama (in Spanish), see

Example of MERO 2006 graffiti art from

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