Artist, Jose Mertz in the Miami New Times


Art is not about college degrees. More often than not, it is about reproducing one’s life experiences on canvas, or film, or in drawings, or sculpture. So when Miami raised Jose Mertz graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2002 rather than start his career as a fledgling artist like many of his contemporaries, he decided to start his real life education. He moved in with a spiritual leader in New York City and studied Zen for about five years.

During that time he also traveled the world, visiting places like the Far East and Hawaii. He met other spiritual leaders and sages that would eventually inspire his work and change his life. Not surprisingly, his art reflects that journey. “My work these days is mainly about the human condition and the fluidity of life,” he says. It is also rife with interpretations of Native American stories, medicine men, Buddhist teachings, and ancient beliefs.

Today, Mertz’s work – whether drawings, installations, or paintings – is a testament to how he perceives the world and its functionality. And his vision of things has obviously struck a chord with many. His fashion designs have been featured on artists like EPMD, Busta Rhymes, T Pain, and others, while his graphic design artistry has been sought out by such heavyweight companies as Adidas, Paul Masson, Duck Down Records, and Last Rights and Touchstone Pictures. Click below to read the interview…

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