* Note: This mural was hidden from view by building construction in 2018.
This mural by the Ink Werkz Crew is at 1610 Central Avenue, on the east wall that’s facing 16th Street.
The mural spreads across the wall, 51 feet wide and 15 feet high. Against a bold background of blue and gold, two men are engaged in a fierce tug of war on opposite sides of the mural.
At the center stands a woman with dark skin. The thick rope the men are pulling passes through her heart, shown here as a red valentine between her breasts.
All three figures are painted from the waist up and painted in the idealized realism of a modern graphic novel. The men strain in opposite directions, with exaggerated muscles. The man on our left is fair-skinned, with slicked-back reddish brown hair and a scraggly goatee. He wears a dark red button-down shirt, with the sleeves rolled up. The rope snakes around his left shoulder and around his back. His chest faces us, his right arm is bent and his left arm, straight.
The man on the right wears a grey tank top and bright green pants. His skin is tanned, his hair is wild, blown toward the center of the mural. His shoulder covers most of his face – he’s bent towards the woman, the rope tight around his waist. His back and his left arm are toward us. The men’s faces show the effort of their struggle.
In contrast to the two aggressive men, the woman in the center seems calm and confident. Her hair’s wrapped in a purple scarf, the loose end hanging over her left shoulder. The woman looks straight at us, as if she’s fed up with the conflict over her affections. She wears purple eyeshadow and purple lipstick. A strand of dark hair falls over her forehead. She wears a clingy white tank-top that leaves a bit of her belly exposed, and a pink skirt. The rope sags over her chest but she lifts it up past her shoulders, making a V with two fingers on her left hand another V on her right, as if to cut the rope that’s running through her fingers.
The woman’s head is framed by a yellow circle, with three black dots above her purple scarf. This yellow circle is enclosed by a wide ring of light blue, with jagged white patterns, so large it’s cut off by the roof. Then an orange ring, then navy blue with more white patterns, and finally orange and black rings, all so large they’re cut off by the top and bottom of the building.
Blue, black and yellow stripes flow out from the rings on the upper left and right sides, with the yellow stripes making giant check marks above the men’s heads. The bottom corners of the mural are light blue, with the same jagged white patterns, but more spaced out. On the bottom right corner are the artists’ signatures. The Shine logo is on the left side halfway up the wall.
The Ink Werkz Crew is Reid Jenkins, Scott Hillis and Sovoth Chan. Reid and Sovoth are tattoo artists in St. Petersburg. Scott Hillis has painted other murals in the city, including at the Bloom Art Center.
If you’re facing this mural, Tropicana Baseball Field is on your left, just across 1st Avenue.