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Cheeky mural imagines Pier in St. Petersburg as an alien invader

Local mural artists the Vitale Brothers have painted their mural Pier Pressure on the side of the Blue Goose bar, an image that makes the upside down pyramid Pier in St. Petersburg look like an alien invader from War of the Worlds. You can buy a T-shirt with the image at a release party Friday.

Johnny and Paul Vitale, otherwise known as the Vitale Brothers, came up with the Pier Pressure mural five years ago when the long embattled Pier renovation project first bubbled to the surface.

The funny T-shirt images sold out quickly, said Andy Preble of Groovy Graphics, which will release its T-shirt based on the mural ($20) at a release party from 7-11 p.m. Friday at Blue Goose, 48 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg.

With the Pier now coming down, the artists decided to revive it, Preble said. It ignores the hotly debated politics of the Pier and has fun with the image, Preble said.

The Vitale Brothers started their St. Petersburg-based art business back in 1992. They have painted countless signs and murals on businesses in the area and are among the roster of mural artists participating in the Shine Mural Festival Sept. 1-12, which is bringing in renowned artists to paint murals in public spaces around St. Petersburg.

Demolition is expected to be completed in the next few months of the controversial 1973 inverted pyramid, and by mid February, all traces of the Pier's approach, bait shops and the upside down pyramid will be wiped from downtown.

The city is instead planning a show-stopping entryway to be financed with $20 million in tax revenues from its booming downtown.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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