St. Pete-based muralist Sebastian Coolidge, aka “Sebastian” — he likes to be known by just his first name a la Prince, Cher and Madonna — has been in the area for around a year but has already made a name for himself by way of somewhat old-timey, semi-surreal murals on a walls in the Tampa Bay area, mostly in St. Pete.
One of the 24-year-old artist's most recent works showed up on St Patrick’s Day weekend across town at the NY Café, 6630 Central Ave., St. Petersburg (727-344-2233) — in the city’s charming, quieter West-Central district.
The deli/café’s owner, John Spiering, says he had a completely different idea in mind for the subject of the mural, but was pleased with Sebastian’s deviation, respecting his “artistic license.” The work toward the back of the café shows a boy on a skateboard taking a bite of an absurdly large sandwich in front of a traditional NY apartment building walkup, flanked by neighborhood children.
- ROOF WITH A VIEW: The beginning of Sebastian's new rooftop series.
Spiering, a Manhattan-Upper West Side native, said that he was honored that the artist’s work part of his eatery’s décor, whose work he noticed while tending to business at Sir Speedy in downtown St. Pete. The building across the way that caught his eye: Sebastian Coolidge's “Boy Squeezing an Orange” on the exterior storefront of the Freshly Squeezed streetwear shop. “I think he’s going to be big someday,” Spiering beamed. The New York Café also has photos of Sebastian’s other works, including the beginning of a rooftop series that, when completed, will look like a panels from comic book from above.
Sebastian’s work fits in nicely at the funky-meets-traditional deli and café, where you can purchase quality sandwiches, breakfast items and coffee concoctions made with Illy beans, giving the nearby Starbucks a run for their money (we hope). For more info, visit NYCafe.org.