In alley behind 687 Central Ave
(As of Fall 2019, this mural is no longer visible)
This mural is titled State Lines, a collaboration between St. Petersburg muralists Tes One and Pale Horse. It covers the back wall of the State Theatre building at 687 Central Avenue, in the alley that faces 1st Avenue North.
The mural is a cloud of oranges, yellows and blues against a black background, 58 feet wide and 33 feet high. Covering the center is a woman’s face, turned upwards, to the left. Her eyes are closed. Her face is framed by swirling colors and her long black hair is blown up and to the left as if by wind, or water.
To the right are jagged abstract shapes of oranges and gold and black, overlaid with shots of blue. The shapes fall from the top of the wall toward the bottom, before the lower right corner turns black.
Swirling blue tendrils outlined in orange shoot past the woman’s neck, curling to the left. An enormous orange snake’s head rears up from the tangle. The snake’s mouth opens to the left, with two sharp, curving fangs and a long forked tongue.
Below the snake is the head of a large orange eagle. His curving beak is closed, his solemn eye fierce, and determined. Blue leaves, and two huge orange roses, nestle around him in a sea of blue swirls.
An ornate medallion hangs heavy at the woman’s neck – an enormous blue and orange circle flanked by two smaller jeweled suns. The ornate design resembles curving metalwork, and dominates the bottom center of the mural, so large that the pendant is cut off by the ground.
The right and left halves of the mural are painted in two distinct styles – abstract geometric shapes on the right, and flowing natural images on the left. The artist Tes One worked on the right side. His logo is painted on the right, in the center – a simple shape formed by a capital T, surrounded by a rounded horseshoe for an O. Pale Horse worked on the left side of the mural and they both worked on the serpent.
The face of the woman, rising from the center of the wall, is the focus of the mural. She’s painted simply, almost like a shadowed sketch. Her closed eyes and relaxed lips are peaceful, as if she’s soaking in the sun or listening to music.
The right side of her face is shaded with blues and blacks. The left side is pale gold, turned to welcome thick yellow and orange swaths of color angling towards her cheek, like sunlight shining. The eagle, snake and roses on the left flow out of her.
A black plaque on the bottom right says the mural was created in 2012 by Pale Horse and Tes One, with execution assistance by the Vitale Brothers team. The mural is a landmark for bands looking for the stage entrance to the State Theatre. The loading door is on the bottom left, almost invisible, obscured by blue and orange swirls to the right of the eagle’s head.
Just around the left side of this building is a giant red shark by the artist known as Shark Toof. To your left is a brick-lined alley lined with murals – and across the parking lot, the colorful mural, Eye of the Storm.
Read about State Lines in Creative Loafing, “the first prominent mural in downtown St. Petersburg.”