It took a full week and 70 cans of paint for Ernest Leas to finish transforming his Peoria, Ariz., home into a dizzying kaleidoscope of every color imaginable.
But artists will do anything for their craft — and for Leas, painting his modest brick one-story home 100 different (and bright) colors was an artistic pursuit more than anything else, he told Fox 10.
“I have been interested in artwork for ten years,” Leas told Fox 10. “I get interested in the stuff I see around Phoenix. I am not really making any kind of a statement.”
If you ask Leas, it’s getting rave reviews up and down the block.
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“Everybody loves this,” he told Fox 10 — especially trick-or-treaters on Halloween, he added.
But if you ask the guy next door, you’ll hear a different story.
“Point blank, he is insane,” Harry Domas, Leas’ neighbor of 13 years, told AZ Family.
Domas theorizes that the colorful house isn’t really artistic expression, either.
“He's trying to irritate everybody, tick them off to the point that they sell, and that's exactly what they're doing,” said Domas.
Leas is hardly the first neighbor with an artistic streak, though, and he’s unlikely to be the last.
A couple in Texas says they received death threats from neighbors in 2015 after they painted their house teal, KHOU reports — and that paint job was even approved by their local homeowner association. Leas, for better or worse, didn’t have to get approval from anyone, Fox 10 reports.
Online, the teal-loving Texas couple told KHOU, they got hit with every insult in the book: “Everything from white trash Californians, ‘what are they doing here?,’ to ‘we want to hang them,’” Keely Dubrova, who painted the house teal, told KHOU.
But Leas, it should be said, could be described as a repeat offender.
In April, his neighbors called the police after he painted a large yellow middle finger on his garage door, according to KPHO.
“This guy over here has probably called the cops on me a dozen times,” Leas told KPHO. “That guy, half a dozen times. That guy, half a dozen times. I have never called the cops on any of these people once.”
And police confirmed to KPHO that they have received complaints. Much to the chagrin of some neighbors, though, there’s not much authorities can do about it.
“This is his private property,” Jay Davies of the Peoria Police Department told KPHO. “He certainly has a right under the First Amendment to express himself, and we have to respect that.”
Not everyone is complaining, though.
Rochelle Roper, another Peoria resident, stopped by the house to see it for herself, and told AZ Family that she didn’t mind it.
“I would love to live right next to him. I would love to wake up and come out and say, ‘hey how you doin,’ because he’s an awesome person, and this is upbeat color, you know, color of the rainbows,” Roper told AZ Family.