“Pinocchio” by Mark Gmehling [“Ga-ma-ling”] is found at 1110 Central Avenue, on the east side of the building, facing 11th Street South.
16 feet wide and 33 feet high, the background of the mural is the same creamy tan as the rest of the building, and the image is painted in browns, black and silver. A striking closeup of a simple wooden Pinocchio, seen from waist-high, with a long wooden nose, head hung low. Its blank face is half-hidden by wooden hands, sheltered in segmented wooden fingers.
The puppet’s body is a huge burnt match stick, the head round and black and the body long and narrow. The skin of the doll is grainy wood, dark brown with lighter swirls and streaks.
The wooden nose extends out between the puppet’s wrists, past hands secured to the wrists with metal screws. He’s turned slightly to the left, so his left shoulder is toward us, a round protruding joint secured with a metal screw, the long narrow arms extending below the bottom of the wall.
The center section of the building is covered with windows and set back several feet, creating windowless walls on either side that seem to jut out of the building. The wall on the north end, towards Central Avenue, is painted with a large light blue nymph and big blue lizards. This wall on the south end is more narrow.
To the right of Pinocchio is the artist’s signature, brown against the tan wall.
Mark Gmehling is a successful fine artist from Germany. This image represents his feelings about the current state of things. He says, “Basically the body is a burnt match stick, and he’s burned out, ashamed, and asking himself, what’s going on in this world’?