This mural by Look the Weird, is Existence is Absurd. It faces west at 1114 Central Avenue. At twenty feet high and forty-five feet wide, it takes up the entire wall in facing this busy parking lot and stands out to drivers heading east on 1st Avenue South.
The background is aqua green, with the words Existence is Absurd in large white letters. But the words are almost entirely covered by images. When asked what he was painting, the artist said, “Florida.”
His style is detailed but distorted, as if a realistic image is being viewed through wavy glass.
On the left is a white fishing boat on top of a swimming pool, a reference to hurricane damage. The pool has bright pink tiles and a silver ladder. The water is several shades of wavy green stripes, and is reflected in the boat’s hull.
Just to the right of the boat is a young man with brown skin and a bright red shirt, holding a rabbit in his right hand and a knife in his left. This is inspired by The Rabbit Hunt, a documentary about life in the Florida countryside.
Above and to the right of the man with the rabbit is a liquid pattern of dark red spreading across the aqua green background – red tide in Florida’s waters.
To the right of the red tide are two glass doors in the center of the wall. Above and to the right of the doors, two police officers wearing military-style camouflage and berets, with an arm patch that reads “St. Pete Police,” are leading a young man away. The officer to our right is male, with blond hair. The officer to our left is female, with brown hair. The man they are leading has white skin and brown hair and is distorted, stretched wide in the middle.
To the right of the police group is a playground with brown, bumpy ground in a grey rectangle. Inside the playground is a red plastic slide, warped and melting, a distorted, abstract image in the heat, and no one sliding on it – a statement about Florida’s weather and youth in America.
To the right of the slide is a brown-skinned man in a white shirt and red hat, holding up a large fish.
Above him and to the right is a large blue fairytale shoe house in a green field, a reference to an amusement park closed due to flooding.
And on the far right of the mural, a ramshackle brown house with slats damaged by hurricanes. The left side of the house is detailed and realistic. The right half slides off in distorted lines.
Founding member of the internationally renowned graffiti crew known as The Weird, Look the Weird is an accomplished visual artist from Germany best known for his diverse and detailed graffiti-style characters. His mural and canvas work can be found throughout the world.
He says, “My piece in St. Pete is all about Florida and the environment. I love to provoke questions. I like to paint things that are real. Reality is hard when you look up from your screen or your bubble. It’s nothing new but that’s how it is.”
Watch a video of Look the Weird at work during SHINE 2018
LOOK is a founding member of the design collective Peach Beach with Vidam the Weird.
Follow LOOK The Weird on Instagram – instagram.com/looktheweird