A Ray Domingo original. That’s how one City official described the more-than-$30,000 giant statue of a skateboarding, ear-phone-wearing, green gecko.
Domingo, a Gulfport artist whose sleek aquatic murals and paintings sell for upwards of $50,000, approached the City of Gulfport and other art supporters about creating a piece that would speak to Gulfport’s eclectic side and give Gulfport a new landmark and selfie spot. His pitch: a sculpture of a giant gecko, riding a skateboard and listening to music. The City agreed to kick in half the cost of the sculpture plus the cost of the base, if Domingo could raise the rest of the monies needed. He did, and the jolly green gecko is almost ready for its unveiling at – where else? – GeckoFest 2022.
The statue costs less than many of Domingo’s works.
“It’s a work of love from Ray,” his wife, Linda Domingo, told The Gabber. “He loves Gulfport and all it represents.”
The new, casino-adjacent sculpture will stand 14’ tall. He’s flanked on one side by a much smaller statue of Morris the Cat. No, not the cat food cat – this statue’s an homage to a beloved beach cat who died decades ago. Some say Morris’ spirit never left the area and his ghost sometimes makes itself known along the beach.
The Gecko Parade, a walking parade that starts by the Caddy’s stage, then loops Beach Boulevard, starts at 6:10 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 3, will end at the statue. The grand unveiling will take place immediately following the parade, which should happen around 6:45 p.m., according to Justin Shea, Gulfport’s cultural events facilities supervisor.
The gecko’s full name is G. Gordon McFly. What does the G stand for?
“Why,” Domingo says, “it’s Gulfport, silly.”
See more photos on The Gabber’s Instagram account, @gabberlife.