SHINE
Artist: Hoxxoh, Photo: by Edel Mohr

Jose Mertz

About Jose Mertz

Based out of: Miami, Florida
An artist and image-maker based in Miami, Jose Mertz pushes an experimental style inspired by ancient civilizations, science fiction, eastern philosophy, and the supernatural. Embracing multimedia platforms, his work ranges from traditional painting and murals, to product design on t-shirts and stickers.
This mural by the artist Jose Mertz is at 1756 Central Avenue, on the west wall facing 18th Street South.

The background of the wall is creamy white, 50 feet wide and 17 feet high. The image is a mix of modern, fantastic illustration styles with elements of traditional Japanese paintings.

Stretched across the wall are either two creatures tightly wound together, or one creature with two heads. On the left side, the head of a samurai warrior, almost in profile, looking to the left across Central Avenue. The samurai’s face is in an armored helmet, in the style of traditional Japanese paintings – with two long gold horns branching off the top of the helmet.

His eyes are wide open, white with black pupils and no iris, dark thin eyebrows angled up. He has a thin mustache, and his chin is covered by the dark red strap of his helmet.

The helmet is wide and grey, with yellow antler horns reaching up from a dark, circular emblem at his forehead. At the top of the helmet is a single glassy eye, with a green iris. The helmet and the eye are in a more modern style of painting than the Samurai’s face. The helmet is trimmed in black with green gemstones, and a blue wavy pattern across the brim.

Below the samurai’s head is a circular black shape, outlined in grey. Where his shoulder would be is a grey fin, and hints of a light blue underbelly with red spots.

To the right of the fin, under the edge of the helmet, is a grey sac, bulbous and curving, with a face in the center and large, staring eyes looking up.

The center of the creature is grey, an incongruous torso. The torso is reclining on its right side, as if it’s the body of the samurai. A huge left arm folds over and lies across the middle, fingers open. On top of that arm is a green frog, out of a Japanese painting, wearing a jeweled fuschia sash whose ends poke up above the figure. Green scaly skin, a pale pink underbelly, yellow, bulging eyes, and a dark pink tongue, with a liquidy green spray shooting off to the right.

On the right side of the torso, where the samurai’s hips should be, the creature’s huge right forearm rests on its belly. Just to the right, its other hand reaches straight up. In that hand is a Japanese koi fish, head facing right, in fantastic stripes of blues, yellows and reds.

To the right of the koi, a large black circle, and to the right of the circle, the neck and head of a Japanese dragon, facing the right. The dragon’s head is light green, the back of its head is dark green, and the neck is bright red.

A single antler points out of the dragon’s head, to the left. His eyes are open, mouth closed, a couple of fangs dangling down past green lips. Long green whiskers, one on each side, flow down past the snout and trail off in opposite directions.

In the top right corner, very small, is the artist’s name and “Shine 17,” in thin black letters.

The creature, be it Samurai or dragon, is a striking presence, an undulating image full of movement.

Based in Miami, Jose Mertz pushes an experimental style inspired by ancient civilizations, science fiction, eastern philosophy and the supernatural. His work ranges from traditional painting and murals, to product design.

Address: 1756 Central Ave

Building: Hideaway Café

Installation Date: 2017

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Elle LeBlanc2020

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Kenny Coil and Marc Berenguer2020

Nneka Jones and Bianca Burrows2020

IBOMS2020

Cecilia Lueza2019

George Rose2019

Morning Breath2019

Vitale Brothers2019

Cory Robinson-CLEAN Campaign2019

SHOK-12019

Taylor White2019

Reda3sb2019

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

Palehorse2019

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

Belin2018

Melanie Posner2018

Illsol2018

J and S Signs2018

Sarah Page2018

Nomad Clan2018

Tasko2018

Cecilia Lueza2018

Matt Kress2018

Michael Vahl2018

Noirs One2018

DAAS2018

Justin Wagher2018

ZuluPainter2018

Matthew Hoffman2018

Hueman2017

Joram Roukes2017

Jose Mertz2017

Stephen Palladino2017

Yok and Shero2017

Herbert Scott Davis2017

Jujmo2017

Lauren YS2017

Mikael B2017

ZuluPainter and Thirst2017

Axel Void and L.E.O.2017

Suarez Art2017

Cryptik2017

Daniel "R5" Barojas2017

Sam Yong2017

Ali Vasquez and Todd Frain2016

Angela Delaplane2016

Apexer2016

Arlin Graff2016

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Daniel Mrgan2016

Pixel Pancho2016

Michael Reeder2016

Alex Pardee2016

Cecilia Lueza2016

Jade2016

Pantonio2016

Nosego2016

ZuluPainter2016

Dasic Fernandez2016

Caratoes2016

Mark Gmehling2016

Ya La Ford2016

Ink Werkz Crew2016

Andrew Spear2015

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

Erik Jones2015

Hitnes2015

Hoxxoh2015

Michael Vasquez2015

Shark Toof2015

Morning Breath2015

Ricky Watts2015

Evoca2015

Carrie Jadus2015

BASK2015

Greg Mike2015

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Carrie Jadus2015

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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 jenee@stpeteartsalliance.org or visit our SHINE Sponsorship page