For more recent work by the artist, also check out her Instagram.
About the mural from the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance website–
The artist hails from Los Angeles and is known around the world for his iconic shark illustrations. Although the shark’s reputation is fearsome, Shark Toof uses the image of a shark to give strength, optimism and possibility to the viewer. He sees the shark as a voice of rebellion, and a conduit for the unheard.
At the artist’s request, the wall was painted red before he got to St. Pete. Even so, the mural took four days and almost one hundred cans of aerosol paint – and it was a challenge because of wires and the architectural details of the wall.
When the painting was done, the artist stepped into the doorway on the bottom right, closed the iron grate and said, “See? Now I’m in a shark cage!”
For more of Shark Toof’s work also check out his Instagram.
“History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are but, more importantly, what they must be.”- Dr. John Henrik Clarke
Dr. John Henrik Clarke was an American writer, historian, professor, and pioneer in the creation of Pan-African and Africana studies. He taught at both Hunter College in NYC, where he established the Department of Black and Puerto Rican studies, and Cornell University where he was the Carter G. Woodson Distinguished Visiting Professor of African History at Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center.
From the St. Pete Arts Alliance website about the work-
Perched on the boy’s neck is a huge monarch butterfly almost as big as the ibis, its gold, black and orange wings spread wide, flitting against the boy’s cheek. The boy looks serenely up and away, as if unaware of the bird and the butterfly. The ibis and butterfly reflect the Florida reality surrounding the boy – the ibis is an iconic Florida bird found along the coastline or wandering through the streets. The candle represents light from the soul.
It’s a startling image for passing drivers and pedestrians – peaceful, but unsettling, with the oversized butterfly touching the boy’s face and the bird’s beak digging in his chest.
For more work by Jade Rivera, also check out his Instagram.