Locally renowned painter, Jose Mertz is the next Miami artist to takeover the Dragon Lounge at Katsuya South Beach. Following previous installments from local artists, Jona Cerwinske and Tatiana Suarez, it’s Mertz’ turn to take over the upstairs haunt and turn it into a special hideaway using traditional drawing and painting. We caught up with the artist to talk about his style, inspiration, and more.
Tell us a little about your style as an artist.
My style has a very fluid and non linear motion to it. It’s the result of years of exploring and building with how my hand moves naturally. The content is a conceptual response to my prespective of reality and my love for Sci-Fi and myth.
We see you’re into drawing, painting, graphics, and product design. Do you have a favorite medium?
I don’t really have a favorite. They all have a different vibe and results. I love them equally but I spend most of my time drawing.
What unexpected places do you find inspiration for your work?
I would have to say people watching in random places. I see a man with an interesting ear or shape of his head and might sketch it for later. Just looking at people gives me alot of material to play with.
What was your inspiration for the art you chose for the Dragon Room?
My inspiration was tattoo design and traditional Japanese Art from the Edo period. I wanted to capture these tigers in classic poses and morph them out how I always work with images of animals. Also looking at the clean asthetic of Zen, I wanted to not saturated the space with filler. Wanted to keep it a nice balance of illustrative imagery and space.
Favorite project/installation you’ve ever worked on?
I love all the projects. Just to be able to do what I love daily is a blessing.
Anything you can share coming up?
Art Basel, NTL Superwall in Wynwood, a new Mertz snapback hat and shoes with Bucketfeet. More info to come soon.
Check out our sneak peak above and join us October 29th for an exclusive evening with the artist to see his work officially unveiled.
To check out Mertz’ art during your next birthday or holiday party, or to just sip on one of the lounge’s killer cocktails, book here.