Artist: Hoxxoh, Photo: by Edel Mohr

Ricky Watts

About Ricky Watts

Based out of: Northern California
A leader in the Northern California graffiti scene in the 90s, Ricky Watts is a designer, illustrator and street artist, who’s known for his interlocking layers of vibrant color. Watts’ large-scale murals can be seen across the country from Oakland to Atlanta. He is also a member of the ZeroFriends collective along with Alex Pardee and Dave Correia.

About the Mural

This colorful mural by Ricky Watts is on the west side of a large three-story building at 600 1st Avenue North. It’s called “Eye of the Storm.”

The thunderstorm is impressionistic – blues, purples, greens, reds and golds. Colors roll across this massive horizontal wall, 96 feet wide and 30 feet high. These curls of color sometimes seem like abstract waves, dripping at the edges. Other times, they flicker at the edges, like flames.

Each wave of color is textured – so a purple wave has several shades of purple, shifting from light to dark. A red wave i s many different shades of red. This makes the wavelike forms appear to vibrate with movement.

The mural is framed by the black trim around the building’s edge. Near the center is a glowing circle in shades of gold, almost lost in the tumultuous waves. This is the “eye of the storm,” that commemorates a hurricane scare right before the 2016 SHINE Festival.

On the far right, several rich blue circles edge into the colored waves. The circles were inspired by the M.C. Escher exhibit that was at the Dali Museum at the time. On the left, a Valentine heart peeks out of the waves, in shades of pink and red.

At the top of the mural, seven black glass windows start at the right edge and are placed almost all the way across, on the building’s third floor. The black of the windows matches the black trim of the building.

This mural is so full of motion it seems to be throbbing, the colors trying to reach out of the wall and splash onto the ground.

A leader of the Northern California graffiti scene in the ‘90s, Ricky Watts is a designer, illustrator and street artist. Alex Pardee, another mural artist on our tour, helped out for several days. Eye of the Storm took 10 very long days to create, and over 500 cans of aerosol paint.

The mural is gorgeous, but most people never see it – because it’s on a one-way street where cars are driving away from the wall instead of approaching it.

But it’s a showpiece in a block that’s bursting with murals. On your right is an alley lined by smaller murals. Even the dumpsters behind the businesses are brightly painted. Close to this mural is a loving closeup of Frida Kahlo, and a giant lizard, for Jim Morrison the Lizard King, who lived in the area before he started The Doors.

Heading east along the alley is a tribute to the artist Woo. And heading west, a bold red Shark, just across the parking lot.

Title: Eye of the Storm

Address: 600 1st Ave N

Building: The Sage

Installation Date: 2015

Artist Jones2023

Rhys Meatyard2023

Greater Public Studio2023

Andrea Wan2023

The Happy Mural Project2023

Kelly Quinn2023

Bunnie Reiss2023


Chris Dyer2023

Max Sansing2023

Dave Bonzai2023


Michael Vasquez2023

Chenlin Cai / 蔡陈林2023

Loretta Lizzio2023

Sarah Sheppard2023

Bryan Beyung & James Lee Chiahan2023

Hannah Eddy2023

James Bullough2022


Ben Johnston2022


Marina Capdevila2022


Reginald O'Neal 2022

Van Der Luc2022

Jeff Williams2022

Dream Weaver2022

Sydney Prusso2022

Ashley Cantero2022

Egypt Hagan2022



Nneka Jones2022

Amy Ilic-Volpe2022

Jason Harvin2022

Vitale Bros2022

Chad Mize2022

The Happy Mural Project2022

Greg Mike2021

Mwanel Pierre-Louis2021

Jenipher Chandley2021

Case Maclaim2021

Jared Wright2021

Bakpak Durden2021

Nicole Salgar2021

Ricky Watts2021


Woes Martin2021

Jason Harvin2021

Miss Crit2021

Michael Fatutoa2021

Emily Ding2021

Reid Jenkins2021

Aurailieus Artist2021


Leo Gomez2021

Ya La'Ford2021


Chad Mize 2021

Brain Storm2020

Brian Butler2020

Lili Yuan2020

Happy Mural Project2020


Tatiana Suarez2020

Elle LeBlanc2020

Mason Schwacke2020

Alex Yanes2020

Kenny Coil and Marc Berenguer2020

Nneka Jones and Bianca Burrows2020


Cecilia Lueza2019

George Rose2019

Morning Breath2019

Vitale Brothers2019

Cory Robinson-CLEAN Campaign2019


Taylor White2019


Princess Smith2019

Brian McAlister, Gibbs High Mural Club and Boys & Girls Club Members2019

JR-Inside Out2019

Paola Delfin2019

Jimmy Breen and Anthony Freese2019

Drew Merritt2019

Low Bros2019

Jay Hoff2019

Taj Tenfold2019

Leo Gomez2019


Blaine Fontana and Plastic Birdie2019

David Charlton2019

Todd Frain and Creative Clay2019

Haider Ali2018

Ya La Ford2018

Gibbs Rounsavall2018

Angela Faustina2018

Bekky Beukes2018

LOOK The Weird2018


Melanie Posner2018


J and S Signs2018

Sarah Page2018

Nomad Clan2018


Cecilia Lueza2018

Matt Kress2018

Michael Vahl2018

Noirs One2018


Justin Wagher2018


Matthew Hoffman2018


Joram Roukes2017

Jose Mertz2017

Stephen Palladino2017

Yok and Shero2017

Herbert Scott Davis2017


Lauren YS2017

Mikael B2017

ZuluPainter and Thirst2017

Axel Void and L.E.O.2017

Suarez Art2017


Daniel "R5" Barojas2017

Sam Yong2017

Ali Vasquez and Todd Frain2016

Angela Delaplane2016


Arlin Graff2016

Pep Rally Inc.-The CLEAN Campaign2016

Daniel Mrgan2016

Pixel Pancho2016

Michael Reeder2016

Alex Pardee2016

Cecilia Lueza2016





Dasic Fernandez2016


Mark Gmehling2016

Ya La Ford2016

Ink Werkz Crew2016

Andrew Spear2015

Chad Mize, James Oleson and Pinellas County Center for the Arts2015

Erik Jones2015



Michael Vasquez2015

Shark Toof2015

Morning Breath2015

Ricky Watts2015


Carrie Jadus2015


Greg Mike2015

Tes One and Palehorse2015


Ya La Ford2015

Carrie Jadus2015

Vitale Brothers2015

Support SHINE®

If you’re interested in supporting St. Pete’s most vibrant event, sponsorship at all levels is still available. Please contact Jenee Priebe at or visit our SHINE Sponsorship page