1xRun Thru Interview
Half Hearted by Jose Mertz
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this original piece, what materials were used?
Jose Mertz: The original painting is a diptych created with acrylic on canvas in the summer of 2012. It took roughly six months to complete, working on and off. Each original is roughly 4 x 6ft, and is 8 x 12 ft in total. The print is 24 x 15 inches and presented as a solid image. I think it works great as one solid image compared to the original. The original work was sealed with matt varnish once it was completed.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Jose Mertz: This piece is about romantic love. The subtle and complexities of the heart between two beings. I was interested in transforming a common symbol and molding it out with living creatures, human content. At first I was going to make an infinity symbol and then later felt that a heart had more of an emotional charge. I then developed a sketch that I felt worked with both figures conversing although they were turned away. I then transferred the image onto canvas and layered colors upon colors to build the form. Once I felt the painting was complete, I then put a light matt varnish and took a hi res photo of it.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Jose Mertz: Although I had an idea and outline of what I wanted to execute, this painting was molded and remolded with colors and glazes that presented and evolved new images in the work.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Jose Mertz: People should own this image because I think it connects with very human issues and it also is very clean and works well in any space. I would hope people would just naturally be drawn to the image and get a personal reaction to it and want to live with this image.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Jose Mertz: raw.1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Jose Mertz: When I was about 8 years old I think I did my first piece of “art”. It was a drawing of a tiger in the bushes. I won a elementary school contest. From that point I knew I wanted to make artwork and drawings. A drawing of a tiger in the bushes. It had watercolor elements to it but I read it as a drawing.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Jose Mertz: I was inspired by cartoons, kid shows like 3,2,1 contact, that intro was a big deal when I was a kid. I also loved morbid movies like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. Dark Crystal was a big deal to me.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what?
Jose Mertz: For this piece I was inspired by this below video by Bjork. Although these are robots I felt like the love was transmitted so well in this piece. I wanted to touch on that same vibe. I like to listen to either instrumental music like drum and bass or jazz. I just jam whatever sounds fresh at the time.
1xRun: What else have you been up to?
Jose Mertz: I was recently featured on THRLD magazine based out of the Netherlands. You can see it on their site here.