Vitale brothers paint the town with murals

- With a can of spray paint, Johnny Vitale is bringing more than a touch of Hollywood glamour to the historic Playhouse Theater in St. Petersburg.

A portrait of the iconic actress Marilyn Monroe now covers the side of the building. 

"It sort of goes back to the time when this was a hot spot and all this crew, with the rat pack and everything, they all hung out together," said Johnny.

"He just does it all from his head and he was able to put it on a wall and project it and it just looks beautiful and shines," Playhouse Theater Property Developer Ronnie Pownall said.

Johnny and his brother, Paul have been painting the town since the early 90s. Their work has fans everywhere.

"We love St. Pete and we like what the mural thing has done to it. It's put us on the map," said Paul. 
"It's obviously working as a positive force in the community for tourism and whatnot and there's mural tours and all kinds of stuff," said Johnny.

They've even restored damaged murals for free.

"When vandals started to make their presence known we tried to battle that by saying, 'Look, we'll be the mural police or whatever. We're not after the vandals, we're after any of the damage that happens to any of these murals," said Johnny.

Art has always been a family affair. Their parents are artists, too.

"I remember, as a kid, thinking 'Why aren't you doing something with your art? Like a career?'" Paul said. "That's what we strive for, try to use our talent to live off of and that's what we're doing. It's pretty cool."

On the other side of the bay, the Vitale brothers recently put their creative mark on the Nueva Cantina restaurant in Tampa.

They say their art betters the community, but also each other.

"People always say, How can you work with your family?' But I couldn't work with anybody else. It's a cool dynamic. We kinda check each other, crack on each other's art, and when all is said and done, it's a better quality piece of art," said Paul.

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